RE: Serious follow-up to the automated telephone system thing

Subject: RE: Serious follow-up to the automated telephone system thing
From: "Downing, David" <david -dot- downing -at- fiserv -dot- com>
To: "John Posada" <jposada99 -at- gmail -dot- com>, "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 15:18:12 -0500

I don't think the designers of these system intentionally send callers
going around in circles, but it can still come out that way.

And yes, I have experienced some 100% human systems that bounce me
around from here to there to over there and back here -- and that's
actually worse, because you have to explain your problem over and over
to everyone along the way.


David Downing
Senior Technical Writer
Credit Union Solutions
Fiserv



-----Original Message-----
From: John Posada [mailto:jposada99 -at- gmail -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 4:10 PM
To: McLauchlan, Kevin
Cc: Downing, David; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Re: Serious follow-up to the automated telephone system thing

>> > There is, in fact, a reason why those automated telephone
>> support systems are so nerve-racking. I read about it a long
>> time ago in an article in TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION. It seems
>> that those systems are actually doing something that the
>> police do to try and break criminals in a hostage situation
>> -- repeatedly force someone to make choices among
>> alternatives. The police do it with the intention of making
>> the kidnapper finally say, "I give up! I'm coming out!" So
>> those automated systems are breaking you down in a similar fashion.
>
> They don't have to justify to you. They only have to justify to their
> shareholders that it's used for the purpose of making the caller
> compliant or making the caller go away and not tie up any of the
> higher-maintenance wetware.
>

I don't buy that, at least not for any company that wants to continue to
exist.

It's a well known marketing principle that it is cheaper to keep a
customer than to find new ones. I agree that the goal is to, if
possible, have a user's reason for calling handled by the system.
However, to make them just go away?

I documented an IVR program for one of the major internet book
sellers. We agonized for weeks on the process flow chart to make sure
that in some way shape or form, the IVR system addressed the issue,
whether if through the system, or ultimately, by routing to a live
person. However, at no time was there even a hint of the approach that
if we ran the caller in enough circles, they would go away.

Are some systems hard to use? Sure. However, even with systems that
are 100% human, you've never been transferred 4-5 times? The IVR
system is only as good as the person who programs it and some aren't
very good at their job.

--
John Posada
Senior Technical Writer
NYMetro STC President

Looking for the next gig.
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Serious follow-up to the automated telephone system thing: From: Downing, David
Re: Serious follow-up to the automated telephone system thing: From: John Posada
RE: Serious follow-up to the automated telephone system thing: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
Re: Serious follow-up to the automated telephone system thing: From: John Posada

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