Time to Dump the Detested Voicemail Maze

Voicemail Everyone I know just hates it when the call a company and get a voicemail maze. What customers really want is a live human. The New York Times sums things up nicely with an article on p. 3 of the Business Section entitled, "Your Call Should Be Important to Us, but It's Not."

"It would be funny if it weren't so depressing -- and such bad business. Countless chief executives pledge to improve their company's products and services by listening to the "voice of the customer." Memo to the corner office: Answer the phone! How can companies listen to their customers if those customers have such a hard time reaching a human being when they call?" writes William C. Taylor in his article.

"You create more value through a dialog with a live agent," said Richard Shapiro is president of the Center for Client Retention in Springfield, N.J. "A call is an opportunity to build a relationship, to encourage customers to stay with the brand. There can be a real return on this investment."

It's a point that too many cost-conscious companies seem willing to overlook. In an era of fierce competition, when customers have more choices than ever, the toughest business challenge isn't to keep expenses down. It's to keep loyalty high. Anything that a company does to make its products and services a little more engaging, a little less ordinary, can pay big dividends. Anything like, say, answering the phone.

Voicemail answering systems have gotten so bad that technologist Paul M. English set up gethuman.com.  The most popular part of the gethuman website is its database of secret phone numbers and codes to get to a human when calling a company for customer service.

"Gethuman.com is a consumer movement created to change the face of customer service. This free website is powered by over one million consumers, and the site is run by volunteers who demand high quality customer service," says the site.

For example, dialing 800-211-2445 will get your directly to a human at Cingular. To get through at Dell, dial 800-624-9897 and press 0 six or more times. For the US Postal Service, dial 800-275-8777; After the first service prompt, press 5. Then press 4, then 2, then 2 after each subsequent prompt.

I urge all my readers to bookmark http://www.gethuman.com/us/index.html. Power to the people!

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Legal Marketing Blog - March 1, 2006 3:21 PM
There was an interesting article last Sunday by William Taylor in the Business section of The New York Times entitled “Your Call Should Be Important to Us, but It's Not.” It addresses the problem encountered by many callers when they...
ALMResearchBlog - March 8, 2006 6:10 AM
If you missed the great piece in the New York Times Business section on 2/26/06 called “Your Call Should Be Important to Us, But It’s Not,” you can thank Larry Bodine, Tom Kane and now us for bringing it to
Comments (1) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Order taking - October 11, 2006 11:58 PM

A live human is definitely more satisfying when you want your queries to answered rather than have a voice over phone. But in todays time its not possible all time to have live support and so its best to have efficient people handle the calls and satisfy the customer. For outsourcing voice, chat, email or back-office support, visit the website http://callcenter.ramshyam.com/order-taking.htm

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