Automated Agents: Benefits and Disadvantages

It is true, automation is here. And it is already making its way into office systems meant to streamline tasks and increase productivity and efficiency. You will notice that automation has been impacting the communication industry in a positive way through emails, chatbots, voicemails to email, instant messaging, etc. An important communication service is automated agents that can help your business manage call volumes and provide better customer service.

Automated Agents: What are They?

Automated agents is a fancy term for automated interactive voice response (IVR). They can be used to manage a company or call center’s inbound and outbound calling. IVR is a cloud-based phone service that uses automation to answer and greet callers and present them with a series of menus. Outbound IVR, on the other hand, calls individuals on a specified list to provide company updates and other useful information.

Automated agents can streamline tasks and help callers complete simple tasks without the help of employees. This way, your employees are free to focus on more complex tasks. Businesses of different kinds use IVR to:

  • Direct callers to different departments
  • Collect caller information
  • Verify accounts
  • Provide information about products and services
  • Broadcast company updates
  • Provide promotional information
  • Process payments
  • Send out reminders, and more.

Benefits of Automated Agents

More and more companies are integrating IVR in their communication system as an attempt to organize call volumes. Here are a few examples of the many benefits.

1. Increase Productivity and Efficiency: 

Automated agents take care of incoming calls by transferring callers to the right department or helping them complete set tasks. This leaves room for employees to focus on more important tasks instead of spending time on simple, mundane ones.

2. Manage Calls when Human Agents are Busy:

If your business is one that has periods of seasons during which call volumes increase, then you need a back-up plan. Your employees may not always be able to answer calls and so having an automated and interactive system can keep them engaged until an employee becomes available.

3. 24/7 Customer Service

With automated agents, you can provide after-hours customer service by assisting callers with pre-recorded messages and information or by directing them to leave a voicemail. This way, your business is not missing out on important calls or valuable customers.

Cons of Automated Agents

While automation has these benefits, it is important to make a note of some of the disadvantages that come along.

1. Impersonal Interaction

Some customers call a business specifically to speak with a human representative immediately instead of waiting for a machine to respond. Automated agents can contribute to an impersonal interaction which may put off some callers. However, there are service providers that offer personalization options where the IVR can identify who is calling, refer to their names, and help them find more customized solutions.

2. Cost of Automation

The overall cost of a basic IVR system is not very expensive. Most phone service providers like offer the feature as part of their plan. However, the most advanced features you choose to include, the more expensive the system can get. But setting up a solid IVR service can benefit your business communication system not just in the short term, but in the long term as well.

Closing: Are Automated Agents the Future of Your Business?

Do you see the purpose of including automated agents as part of your office phone system? Reach out to your virtual phone service provider and see how they can help you set up IVR for business communications. Increase office productivity and deliver better service to your valued customers.