Businesses often think that the optimal approach to reining leads is putting a human at the front desk to handle routine queries in a warm and friendly manner. However, in reality, sometimes the welcome is not so warm and friendly, and by opting for an AI solution, what the business really wants can be achieved for each and every interaction.
- A potential customer calls a dental practice. The phone is answered, but with a terse and immediate “please hold” as the front desk staff juggles multiple tasks. They are put on hold without consideration for their preferences and left wondering just how long the wait time is likely to be and how many more people are on hold.
- Let’s say the person is on hold for 7-8 minutes, creating friction and possibly, irritation. It is not unreasonable for the customer to give up hope or think about all the other things they could be doing. By the time they speak to someone, the mood is already veering toward unpleasant.
- Then a staff member finally comes on the line, only to take them through a bunch of questions on insurance, requirements, etc., and offers an available slot for an appointment…4 months from now.
- Think how unappealing this might be to the caller, whether they are an established patient of the practice or a new one.
- By now, they have most likely decided to go elsewhere but also with a very bitter view of your business and capabilities. Both the business and the consumer lose in this scenario.
How could the experience have been different? You can take them through an AI-led conversation that immediately checks the nature of the inquiry and lets them know that the next appointment is a few months out. They may choose to book it anyway or drop off, knowing that they can do a similar quick check-in on a later date too.
By putting humans at the first interface, businesses are often putting the cart before the horse. When the goal is to provide customers with a pleasant experience and a seamless interaction, it should be AI-first. In the above example, if the caller had options to call in or text in and is led through the preliminary queries quickly, their experience would be memorable. The customer and the brand win. Also, with a more efficient system for booking and rescheduling appointments, they may not have to wait for an appointment four months out.
Businesses have their limitations when staffing: It is difficult to hire the right staff, train them, and deal with turnover and other people challenges. And of course, it is not viable to staff for peak volumes. Humans at the front desk can only do so much when operating a desk that should ideally run 24/7.
It is in the interest of better customer service to enable AI at the front desk for routine queries and operations and human personnel for more complex tasks and decision-making.
So, when looking to offer a superior customer experience and stay profitable, automate first. You will quickly see why. Interested in learning more? Schedule a demo.