We have two receptionists working at our Melbourne Head Office fielding calls placed direct to us and through our Sydney office via VPN. Amy and Deb help make sure that support calls get appropriate priority and to the right person. We find this helps better manage the 200 to 300 support calls we receive each day.
While it is old fashioned to have a reception function like this, feedback from our customers is that they prefer this human touch to one of those automated phone systems. They also like that calls are screened than going right to the help desk. Between 5% and 10% of calls on any day are resolved at the reception desk with an advice sheet or general advice – all of which helps our overall customer service goals.
A pet peeve of mine is the dehumanising of business through computerised phone systems and the like. The more human we can take the Tower Systems experience the better. While we are investing considerably in CRM and other tools, this is focused on infrastructure and not at the customer interface level. Small business software users want to deal with humans – hence our use of two receptionists as traffic cops.