For our opening hours, press 1.
For payment enquiries, press 2.
You don’t need me to tell you that this sort of experience is happening more and more. In fact, I can recall an episode of the TV show The Simpsons, where even the police have an automated system – “If you are being murdered, press 1!” And it hasn’t quite got to that stage yet, but it certainly seems like we are moving in that direction.
Last week I read an article which was comparing call centres abroad with those based in the UK, citing the example of one high street bank that, having moved their call centre back to the UK, had since experienced a higher volume of complaints. If a company has to choose between the two options, which one would prove to be more beneficial?
Well, I think that there is a third answer. Why is there the need to have a call centre at all? We all know that people prefer talking to actual human beings on the phone. Having to go through multiple options, and be kept on hold before getting to speak to the person you need to can be infuriating to say the least.
And obtaining business finance is no different. Quite often, you need to talk to somebody and ask them direct questions, and not have to go through several options on a machine first. And it is useful having one point of contact that you can phone up and speak to directly, instead of being passed around an office like an object.