I’ve written before about automated answering services that do nothing other than irritate the customer. This morning I’ve made two phone calls to organisations about issues which needed discussions with someone to get resolved. Both organisations had automated answering services which greeted me and then:
“Did you know you can find out more about us via our website?”
And went on to detail some of the various things I could do on those websites. None of them related to the issues I was calling about. One of the issues was about a mistake on a company’s part and an offer to call them to discuss the repercussions! So I’m phoning them at their request and still being subjected to waffle about their website. Thanks, that’s a really great service experience. Being told that, despite the invitation to call them to discuss things (it’s only a small mistake but it has repercussions), the issue needed to be escalated and I wouldn’t get an answer until tomorrow really didn’t help.
Not everyone likes to use a company’s website to deal with issues. Not everyone has internet access. Some people want to get their issue logged by a person. Some people need to actually talk to a person (as I did this morning). When a customer calls an organisation they don’t want to be bored senseless with waffle about that company’s website – they want to talk to someone!
So credit to Birmingham City Council for not boring the pants off callers with waffle on their main contact centre number. Numbered options and then put through to an operative or a queue.
Keep It Simple Stupid is a very good way to plan out call centre and automated answering service call flows.