A girl, a goat, and a stamp collection.

Have you ever called a business and got an automated answering system that made you sit through what seems like an eternity listening to the various options they have, none of which have anything to do with what you called about, they might as well have asked you to push 1 for a girl, 2 for a goat, or 3 for a stamp collection because that makes about as much sense as the menu they offered you.  I recently called a company and after listening to their long introduction and menu which was about nine different options, none which applied to the reason I called, I pushed 0 thinking I was going to get the operator.  But no, I got to listen to the entire recording all over again, I then selected one of the options just to get out of the main menu, and had to then listen to another long list of menu items, and them randomly selected one of them and finally one of the options was to speak to a customer service agent.  It honestly should not be that difficult to speak to someone.

Don’t get me wrong, automated answering systems are fine, we have one at my company, but when you call, you get a simple menu and you have the ability to talk to someone with one simple press of a button, we don’t make you jump through hoops just to get someone on the phone.  It is obvious that companies that do this just don’t want to talk to you, they are trying to force you to use the automated self help system, and this really irks people and creates a very bad image for the company.  People want to be able to pick up the phone and with ease talk to a real live person.  Let that person figure out what you need and transfer you if need be, but making it difficult to get someone on the phone is just bad for business.  People call your business because they want to talk to a real person not an automated system.  PayPal has taken a lot of heat on this issue and many of their customers have complained that they are not able to talk to a live person very easily, and they are not alone, many companies are like this, and obviously the reason is to save money, but I say that this savings is at the expense of losing customers and in the end this is the opposite of what the goal was.  Customer service should be a top priority to any company and it should be an easy transaction for a customer to obtain customer service at any level.  Remember as a business you only exist as long as your customers find value in what you have to offer, so keeping them happy certainly is beneficial to any company.