No-one wants to phone up customer services – obviously we’d rather there wasn’t a need to in the first place – but it’s an unfortunate necessity. Still, why do we have to put up with patronising automated voices?
I’ve spent lots of time in the past phoning up customer service lines to investigate how companies handle different problems and I do feel for the customer reps. It’s not an easy job, especially when their employers often don’t give them the support they need.
Talking to our mystery shopper it was great to hear that the reps from some networks – Vodafone, Talk Mobile and O2 – did really well. Although, after our recent customer service survey, it may come as little surprise to see 3 and Orange reps not do so great.
Automated customer service systems
Everyone has their own pet hates when it comes to these calls – especially our rather cantankerous Mystery Shopper – but the part that really winds me up are the automated systems companies greet you with.
Now I know they’re useful, since they help cut down the time you’re on hold and direct you to the right person for the job – well in theory they do. But the bit that really gets under my skin is when companies try to make them ‘personable’ and friendly.
If you want to divide people into the right pigeonhole and help them through their particular problem, is there really a need to have a patronising voice pretending to be all ‘matey’?
At no point have I forgotten that I wasn’t speaking to a real person, so why do they need to take up even more of my time with extra comments like ‘Ok that’s fine’ when I’m dealing with a robot?
Wouldn’t it be nice to just have a professional sounding voice read out the options, so we can choose the appropriate one without any patronising comments? And who comes up with these options? Whoever it is, they could do with some intensive games of ‘20 questions‘ so they can learn how to quickly divide people into appropriate groups.
Far too often I find the options vague and when you do select the most relevant one, they just end up repeating most of the same options all over again. Grrr.
What really winds you up about customer service lines? Do you have any horror stories?