To sign up for our daily email newsletter, CLICK HERE
Have you ever gotten a call from a robot? Or call a company and get an AI representative? Robo-calls are part of a booming industry that businesses, organizations, and individuals are taking advantage of as more aspects of our lives require access to a phone.
Another job that has been streamlined for maximum efficiency and profit, a single computer can do the work of millions of on-call human agents, and the technology is constantly improving.
1. That Some are Much More Sophisticated Than Others
Automated phone systems are a way to place thousands of prerecorded calls to or on behalf of a business without requiring a human representative. Some systems use technology, such as auto-dialers. Others use more advanced methods like IVR, a predictive dialer, or artificial intelligence.
These phone systems are most commonly used for surveys, notices, appointment reminders, and advertisements. The more advanced systems help businesses handle volumes of calls that would be unmanageable without this technology.
2. That Different Types Are Used for Inbound and Outbound Calls
First, the system draws phone numbers from a database. These numbers may be given freely by customers, bought from businesses, or found randomly by trawling address books and websites. Then, the computer calls each one, listens for a response from the other side, and takes action depending on the answer. The most common actions are to play a prerecorded message or connect the person to a human agent. This depends on the purpose of the call.
On the flip side, when a customer calls a number in an automated phone system, it works as an AIreceptionist to either answer the question or redirects the caller to an agent. The caller interacts with the AI by pressing a button or with a spoken response, which the system will be “listening” for.
The risk of using these systems is that while a working program is very effective, the program can be brought down by bugs, poor programming, cyber attacks, power outages, and more. Phone downtime can lead to angry customers and potentially losing out on business, so if the system is implemented, precautions must be taken.
3. That They Benefit Customers as Much as Businesses
The benefits of an automated phone system are many. For one thing, it makes regular business much more efficient and reduces customer hold times. Smaller teams handling regular outreach phone calls can do a month’s work in a day. The system also removes the chance of common human errors, such as forgetfulness, mistyping, and scheduling errors.
Additionally, especially for customer support, traditional call centers are no longer necessary. Automatic routing and pre-recorded menus ensure agents can enjoy the benefits of shorter shifts and work from home while customers aren’t passed around from department to department.
However, as with all technology, there are certain drawbacks. While the ability to reach millions of customers efficiently may be a boon for businesses, scammers also have access to the technology, causing phishing and fraud to be more profitable than ever. While most people know not to give a stranger their bank account number over the phone, it only takes one victim out of many to make the scammers a profit.
To counter this and make the customer’s experience more secure, the best systems have cutting-edge security measures in place. If you’re considering implementing a predictive dialer or another automated system, it’s worth learning the software provider’s security setup before buying.
Automated phone systems are already so prevalent in our businesses today that it’s hard to imagine any significant advancements. However, our understanding of artificial intelligence, computer science, and entrepreneurship is constantly evolving. Who knows what technology will be integral to our lives tomorrow?