Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Press your buttons wisely.

     As I sat at my desk this past week speaking to my customer's, I wondered what would be a good topic to cover as far as customer service. I've covered quite a few areas and was trying to figure where I should go next. Then it hit me as I was listening to call after call of one major complaint. Every person I spoke to had an issue with using the 800 system to select help. If there was ever an area that needed to be addressed, it is the selection process on the 800 numbers.

     First off let me start by saying there is no easy way around these systems now. Oh sure, you can just mash a bunch of buttons and eventually you will get someone on the line but the chances they can help with your issue is slim to none. I equate button mashing to plying the lottery. Everyone has a chance but very few actually get the win. Secondly, these systems were designed because of us. Yes, the customers did ask for this. Remember when we all complained about calling into an 800 number and having to wait for someone to pick up? I know I at one point wished there was options I could use over the phone to solve my problem automatically. Well, we got our wish, just not exactly what we wanted.

     When you do call in, try your best to follow the prompts. I know it tedious and can be confusing but it is the best tool you have for reaching the right person. I have had the pleasure of sitting in on the IT department that handles the call routing on these services. Believe it or not they work everyday on improving the routing of calls to make sure we as consumers get to the right destination. They study how we use the system when calling in and see if the success rate is where it should be when the call reaches a certain department. It's a thankless job that is a constant work in progress. These people shoot for a 100% successful call delivery rate and try to meet that every day. Some systems are intuitive enough to learn your calling habits and route you to the best agent. This process can only be successful if you use the system wisely.

     If we all try to use these systems as best we can, our overall experience with calling in should become more efficient in time.

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