Customer Enjoys Painless Robot Interaction

Stuck in the phonic bowels of a robot automated customer support line, claustrophobically twitching for the five seconds of actual human interaction required to resolve your complaint, it can be hard to remember that sometimes automated lines actually have their advantages. Blair wrote us in with a positive experience with automation:

    So I wanted to cancel my Sports Illustrated subscription. No problem with the magazine, but I never have time to read it, and it never hurts to save a few bucks here and there. I steeled myself for what was sure to be a strong, lengthy and annoying sales pitch to get me to keep my subscription and finally worked up the nerve to dial their toll free number. It starts out with a few automated menus, including, amazingly enough, an option to cancel your subscription. After that, I was asked to enter the account code from my address label. Here’s where I’m expecting to be connected to their sales force. Instead, an automated voice says something along the lines of “We’re sorry to see you go. You may get one or two more issues. Log on to si.com if you would like to re-subscribe.” The whole thing (automated menus and all) took less than 2 minutes. Fantastic.

The advantage here is that Blair didn’t have to deal with any last-minute hucksterism from a human trying to pressure him into keeping his subscription. As our Time To Human features showed, the chances of resolving an issue in less than two minutes are pretty dang low. This is one instance where the robots win.

Previously: Reach A Human With Roger’s Wireless

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  1. airship says:

    This is one of those unfortunately rare examples that prove technology doesn’t HAVE to be obtrusive, annoying, and obstructive. Like a knife, an automated call processing system is just a tool – it’s the people employing it that make it either useful or dangerous.