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Posted: 1/5/2006 8:22:28 AM EDT
Your automated phone answering systems just SUCK ROYAL!!!

I don't want to "Press 1" or "Press 55" or "Press *99"........

I want to talk to someone!........and preferably in ENGLISH!!!!

Not someone from India!...........and I DON'T HABLA ESPANOL!!!!!!

You are losing business when you do this to me!!!!
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:26:44 AM EDT
Dear Customer....If you wish to make a complaint....Press 1.

Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:29:31 AM EDT
I'm right there with ya on this one.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:53:18 AM EDT
Thye want you to give up. They have no interest in addressing your problem. You have already bought their product, thats all they want from you. If that one is giving you problems, they want you to buy a replacement, not fix the one you already have.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:55:30 AM EDT
Even worse are the ones that do voice recognition.

"Please say your account number"

Then they don't forward that information to the rep when you finally talk to them. So what's the first question they ask, "what's your account number?"
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:57:42 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2006 10:54:21 AM EDT by danpass]
cold link (just in case) -steps to find a human

http://www.paulenglish.com/ivr/


Link Posted: 1/5/2006 8:58:55 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tc556guy:
Thye want you to give up. They have no interest in addressing your problem. You have already bought their product, thats all they want from you. If that one is giving you problems, they want you to buy a replacement, not fix the one you already have.



Spot on. Look at some vendors' web sites and see how many don't even publish a phone number.

The message: "Get lost chump."
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 9:01:07 AM EDT
Have you seen the new credit card commercial? This guy's kitchen is on fire, and he is trying to press nine-hundred and something on his phone. Kind of humorous.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 9:03:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By tc556guy:
Thye want you to give up. They have no interest in addressing your problem. You have already bought their product, thats all they want from you. If that one is giving you problems, they want you to buy a replacement, not fix the one you already have.



Hit probability: 82%
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 9:24:26 AM EDT
The company I work for recognized this problem from the beginning and never switched from a "live person". The exception is the after hours answering machine. Sales, Service, Engineering, Purchasing, Shipping, production and management are all accessed through real people.

I really hate the automated systems that NEVER let you even choose to wait to talk to a "representative". For them, it's "leave a message and someone will call you back".
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 9:25:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:
Then they don't forward that information to the rep when you finally talk to them. So what's the first question they ask, "what's your account number?"




Man, that is one of my SERIOUS pet peaves!
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 9:27:30 AM EDT
As someone who designs call centers and IVR systems for a living, I'll keep this in mind.

Your all my bitches.
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 12:52:24 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Lexington:

Originally Posted By tc556guy:
Thye want you to give up. They have no interest in addressing your problem. You have already bought their product, thats all they want from you. If that one is giving you problems, they want you to buy a replacement, not fix the one you already have.



Spot on. Look at some vendors' web sites and see how many don't even publish a phone number.

The message: "Get lost chump."



Where is the "repeat sale" mentality in this?

Has business gotten that callous that they only think of RIGHT NOW and not repeat sales?
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 12:54:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
As someone who designs call centers and IVR systems for a living, I'll keep this in mind.

Your all my bitches.



Tell me your joking..........

What is your professional opinion of this?.......is this what your end goal is in designing a center?.......to piss off the customer?...........or does the company just not care?
Link Posted: 1/5/2006 1:53:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TUMOR:

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:
As someone who designs call centers and IVR systems for a living, I'll keep this in mind.

Your all my bitches.



Tell me your joking..........

What is your professional opinion of this?.......is this what your end goal is in designing a center?.......to piss off the customer?...........or does the company just not care?



Yes, I'm joking...

...kinda.

I really do design this stuff for a living. I hate a bad design as much as the next guy. It REALLY pisses me off, since I know how easy it is to implement something nicer. When I call somebody, my wife sits next to nme rolling her eyes while I mutter things like "Proper CTI integration would fix this...Their ringback is awkward...I'll bet the routing isn't skills based...Schedule checking should be performed earlier..The auto attendant sucks..."

I like to tout myself as the guy everybody loves to hate. In my defense, I DO have to conform to the customer's standards and expectations. I disagree with their wishes often. Whadda ya gonna do?

There are a few things that people need to understand, however.

1. Queueing calls is inevitable. Sometimes, there is absolutely no way to guarantee that a call can be answered by a live person immediately. Blanket statements such as "Hire more people" aren't always practical. At some point, an acceptable wait time must be used as a metric. When you are expected to service 20,000+ calls a day, certain mechanisms need to be in place to allow that to happen. Queueing calls is one of them.

2. Expanding on point #1, directing your call to a person who might actually be able to help you requires qualifying your call. This is why there are "menus" for you to navigate. By selecting certain options, you are allowing the system to determine the best group of people to send your call to. To avoid this completely, I frequently suggest that call centers allow all agents to answer initial calls - regardless of purpose - so that a human being can determine which queue to send the caller to. The premise is that any agent should be able to qualify a call and direct them to the proper team. This CAN seriously burden available resources, and increase the wait time for callers who are already waiting in the proper queue. Every customer is different. Sometimes an IVR (the system that gives you the "menus") is necessary. If an IVR is required, it should be simple. This is kind of an art, and so many companies get it wrong. If they listen to me, it's a pleasant experience. If they are stubborn, the caller will be pissed.

3. For a little perspective, if 1000 call center agents shave 60 seconds off of their time on the phone, over 16 man hours would be available for other callers throughout the day. Again, one way of doing this is to allow the caller to direct himself to the proper group of people, or attempt to resolve his reason for calling without human intervention, so that the people who DO need personal attention can get it without waiting longer than necessary.

Really, these systems are implemented to solve the problems inherent in answering thousands of calls in a day. Sometimes they are implemented well. Other times, it's a mess. Don't blame the technology, blame the implementation.

There's ALOT more to it (and I'll answer any questions thrown at me), but just understand that companies face a very difficult problem.
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