In the Experience Economy you have to be ever vigilant that you are creating an Experience that is authentic. Not fake authentic, but real authentic. I have to say this because Experiences can be manufactured to appear authentic but the customer/client quickly discovers that the authenticity is not real at all but merely window dressing.
So what does this have to do with the phone? Well…..a lot. Consider the business that goes to great lengths to create a personal experience with customers/clients but they then use a voice system to answer all incoming calls. Yikes. Why would you not have a real person answering the phone? Is having the phone answered by a fake person such a cost saving? Did you consider what you are losing when you made your decision to go automated? Did you make your decision on convenience? Did you assess the merits of your decision based on your core business strategy?
Sometimes technology, while possible to use, is not the right solution. If you have gone to great lengths to make everything you do focused on engaging fully with your clients/customers then why would you not have the phone answered by a person? Just think of the value of the conversation and connection that could be made when a member of your organization has the chance to interact with a client/customer or someone you do not know yet? Even if it was just a happy voice on the end of the phone that conveys the impression that says “thank you for calling, how can we help”.
In a world where technology continues to drive a wedge between people authentically interacting in a one on one manner, perhaps it is time to consider where we can go ‘old school’ and create a competitive advantage by taking every opportunity to engage people directly. As the world goes high tech you should consider going high touch. How you use the phone in your enterprise can be a great place for innovation.