Are you turning customers off before they even reach you?



Second only to maybe sunburns or the color orange, there is nothing that irritates me more than that fake typing noise companies use in attempt to “humanize” the automated customer experience. I emphasize the air-quotes around humanize because I cannot fathom how anyone could actually think that adding a fake typing noise adds personalization, connection, or anything, really, to the customer service experience.

The worst part is, the fake typing sound puts me in a terribly agitated mood long before I ever crack the code and get to an actual customer service rep. I have this experience every time I call a certain cable service provider.

It always goes like this:
I call. I get assaulted by automated agents, fake typing noises and endless “press 1 to continue” messages. I get irritated. “I’m sorry, I didn’t quite understand.” I get more irritated. …Finally, I get to a real, live human. I am short with them and they have to work extra hard to turn the call into something productive. They address the problem, and assure me I can contact them directly with follow up needs (well, the best CSRs do, anyway). But calling back always begins with a barrage of automation and fake typing noises; thus, continuing the cycle of irritation.

What ends up happening?

I stop calling. When my service has problems, I complain to everyone I know, and continue suffering with sub par service. When people ask me about what service I use, I don’t exactly give a glowing review.

It compels me to beg the question: Are you turning customers off before they even reach you? 


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