Voice-automated customer service

<elizabeth>

In my opinion, one of the hands-down most annoying “productivity platforms” of recent years is voice-automated customer service. Launched to streamline customer traffic and optimize company minutes and dollars, I find this approach to be not only irritating and impersonal, but consistently less effective than the traditional customer-service route (known as “speaking to another human being”). In my experience the automated machine’s ability to decipher and interpret the customers statements or “vocal commands” is frequently so flawed as to cause the call to take at least twice as long as it would if simply speaking to a human.

A productivity platform aimed at saving the companies time and money (through labor-costs) seems to me to have the opposite effect on the customer side, where this development has the adverse effect of offsetting (company) time onto our (the customers’) watch. Not to mention giving us a headache (I found it hilariously ironic and yet perfectly appropriate that this should be among the first 10 images to pop up when google searching “voice-automated customer service”):

Click here and check out “Verascape,” a voice-automated  call processing service that promises to

• Increase revenue
• Capture valuable marketing information
• Dramatically lower costs – by 35-70%

Their homepage closes in stating that with Verascape’s voice automated solutions, you’ll find your business in “a little less conversation and a little more action.”

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1 Comment»

  jessica wrote @

GREAT example and very well put. This connects back to our previous week’s discussion of the ways in which companies in post-Fordist era often externalize costs and accountability – in this case the consumer is the one who appears to be subsuming more costs, and all in the guise of customer service! (If anyone has ever come across any good readings on the subjects of customer service, corporate bureaucracy, etc., please let me know.)


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