John Y.’s Musings from the Middle: Automated Call Loops

Earlier today I had an incident stuck on multiple automated call loops trying to get a simple question answered.

I know how it is and that these services help reduce time spent by employees dealing with routine questions but…… I had a simple but non-routine question and spent, on and off, 2 hours trying to get through. I finally did but the person kept referring to me as Mrs Brown until I corrected him–using my Barry White voice. But that’s another story.

So, as always, I tried to come up with a better way, a better mousetrap, a “big idea” to fix this commonplace problem.

But I couldn’t come up with anything beyond, well, hire live people to talk to live customers. That just doesn’t seem practical. And it’s so 1970s.

So, I griped a bit and then came up with what at the moment seemed an innovative and workable new approach that would decrease the “aggravation factor” for customers calling.

What was it?

Use Barry White’s voice for all options and to explain….er….just lay it out there for us that Barry White mellow reassuring way.

Unfortunately, I learned later in the day, Barry White is no longer available possible voice work since, I learned, he passed away about 7 years ago.

So, I had to develop another idea. Here it is.

You know how automated services always give a seeming endless array of options?

You know, numbers to push that continue to lead to nowhere and force you to push another number and so on?

I propose that the number 9 be used for the sole purpose of offering “If you’d like to know the truth about why you are really talking to an automated loop tape instead of a live person, please press 9” the chummy female voice will offer.

When you press 9, you’ll receive this message:

Hello, you are a valued customer but only up to a point. I mean, I’m sure you get on the nerves of friends and family members. And we are no exception.

Sometimes you get on our nerves, too, and we don’t want to waste time talking to you. Especially when you call us with dumb questions. That drives us crazy and hurts the bottom line. To deal more efficiently with this problem and please our shareholders, we have introduced an automated attrition loop that leads to nowhere. It creates the illusion we care about you and are trying to help but really it’s like an extremely complicated rebate form that we have no intention of ever paying. In short ,we just don’t want to talk to you and your whatever it is you are calling about. We hope you understand and respect our boundaries. In the old days people could say things like, “I don’t suffer fools gladly” and be respected. Today, we have to use automated phone loops instead.

Have a nice day.


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