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Does Your Organization Have an Automated Phone System? Then Dump It!

My cable TV is out, so I called Charter Cable today (for the 3rd time).  You have to go through an entire automated menu – type in your phone number, tell them your address and last name, punch numbers for this, then for that.  Even when I hit “0” to get to an operator, the computer voice argued with me.  If you think that an automated phone system is making your organization more efficient, then think again, because it’s driving people away.

I know of one large church in Los Angeles, where major vendors have refused to work because the phone system is so irritating.  According to Forrester Research, fourteen of fifteen voice-response systems tested earn failing grades.  Other data reveals that three quarters of people calling for customer service eventually terminate the calls with “customer rage.”

And yet, churches and ministries are switching to automated systems faster than I can believe.  In spite of the fact that 37% of callers IMMEDIATELY hit “0” to speak to a human.

Stick to people answering phones.  We love to speak to humans – not get lost in the electronic vortex.

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One Comment

  1. It is not possible for me to disagree with you less.

    These infernal devices are undoubtedly a sign of the impending apocalypse (“In the last days, your call can be monitored for training purposes…”)

    What I find especialy maddening are voice activated systems, which make one sound like a total idiot to anyone who happens to overhear the call. I have taken to using swear words when confronted by these insidious mechanisms, just to see what bizarre, uncharted nether regions of the automated phone system I end up hopelessly lost in.

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