Automation as Plague: How Consumers Avoid It

The Wall

The Angst of IVR

GetHuman Provides Compendium of IVR Avoidance

I was listening to Pink Floyd’s The Wall the other day. A funny thing happened. Instead of experiencing “Comfortably Numb” as a lamentation on drug use and alienation, I heard the hallucinatory exchange between customer and automated system. Well, at least in part.

Caller: Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home?

IVR: Relax. I’ll need some information first. Just the basic facts. Can you show where it hurts?

It’s even more trippy when you listen like this!

Lately, I’ve been attuned to the consumer advocacy movement that has become prominent on websites and social media channels.

One of particular interest is gethuman.com, a website that provides customer service shortcuts; how to bypass automation and reach a live agent as quickly as possible.

As of this writing, there are 1,578 companies documented. Now, I’m sure these companies run the gamut in terms of customer experience quality. Just from a quick glance, I see many GM Voices customers (at the very least, they have great Voice Brands).

But it speaks to a greater dissatisfaction within the call center realm. The people who reference this site are jaded, burned too many times, and they wield increasingly growing influence.

Can companies reverse this trend and turn the unbelievers into advocates? No. Well, not entirely. It’s a bigger project than is necessary. Companies need to take care of their own customer experience and not worry about paradigm shifts. After all, great journeys begin with single steps.

“Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.”

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