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We have all heard that sweet voice on the phone when after minutes (sometimes longer … much, much longer) of waiting on the phone to get customer support, a live human starts talking to you. It feels as though the Queen of England had just come on the phone and it was well worth the wait!

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Let us rewind a little – you needed help with a product & you called the company’s toll-free number enthusiastically – imagining your angel savior just sitting there twiddling her thumbs waiting to hear from you. A few rings later, you are greeted by a cheerful voice – you are happy you got someone on the phone – just as you inhale to get ready to explain your problem you hear the cheerful voice telling you to carefully choose some options that have just been changed, darn! Your enthusiasm starts waning a bit and your eyebrows start knotting. You now wait for the cheerful recorded lady to repeat those options as you force yourself to pay attention to the one you should choose. No, I am not interested in sales, not wanting to return the product (not yet at least), yes – I guess technical support sounds right! You press the telephone key & heave a sigh of relief – that wasn’t so bad.

Related Article: How decision tree driven interactive guides enable you to help your customers better?

“You pressed technical support, Is this correct? Press 1 for yes, 2 for no”. Yes, Yes I did. “If you are calling about blah blah blah, press 1 …” You get the idea! By the time you are done navigating through the IVR jungle, your jaw has tensed into a biting position, your lower lip is pouting forward, your mouth has curved downwards & your nostrils start to flare. You now hear, “Your call is important to us, please wait while I connect you to the next available agent” You wonder what if my call wasn’t important to you – would you directly connect me to your mother in law? All this while your are carefully listening to the elevator music like that is supposed to calm you down before Her Highness appears from behind that imaginary curtain you have been staring at in the dark cavernous room you feel you are in, at the Magic Kingdom of Customer Support. “Thank you for calling XYZ, How may I help you?”

Related Article: How call center agents use interactive guides instead of call scripts to improve customer service?

And that brings me to the beginning again! There are more than a Billion calls to customer support desks each day, just in the U S of A. Nearly half the issues customers call about are repetitive in nature & companies often publish self service information for customers so they don’t have to bother calling. Why do so many customers still call customer support?

The answer lies in a dirty little secret known to the common man as “gobbledegook”. Imagine you have a simple problem – your TV doesn’t work. I know you will say, “Who doesn’t know figuring this out themselves?” … but humor me a bit. If you had this problem, and your choice was to go through a self service article that looked like this or calling Customer Support – which would you do?

Now consider the same if the self service information was presented to you in this way. Would you still call Customer Support? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Interactive Guides for Superior Customer Service