Fonolo.com promises to be an industrial-powered buzzsaw for hacking down phone trees. They’ve spidered companies’ entire customer service phone trees and you just click on a chart online where you want to go. Fonolo calls the company for you, navigates to that point, and calls you on your phone when the call is ready. Boom, you’re transferred right in without waiting or wanting to kill yourself. It’s also free. Good news for Vincent Ferrari wannabes, a forthcoming feature will let you record calls and publish them online at the click of a button. Currently in closed beta, you can enter your email address on their front page and they’ll let you know when it’s ready. Screenshots inside…
Consumerist Interviews Peter Leppik, CEO Of Company That Conducts Those End Of Call Surveys, So You Know He Knows A Little Something About Call Centers And Customer Service
We emailed the CEO of Vocal Labs, a phone survey company that specializes in measuring customer service quality, three simple questions about his business.
This article suggests small business can make themselves look like big, important, inefficient businesses simply by getting a hosted PBX system. A robot will offer choices like, “1 for sales, 2 for service…” but all the options will route to the same operator.
Did you know Best Buy got rid of their robot menus? Now when you call 1-888-BEST-BUY, all you have to do is press 2 and a human operator will direct your call. This is fantastic. Customers often cite being enraged by pushing button after button, especially when they’re already pissed off to begin with.
After watching this a few times, we’re not sure what’s more annoying, comedian Orny Adams or phone trees.
UPDATE: As of 10:32, the problem seems to be fixed. Bang zero to your heart’s content, our pretties.
Here’s an interesting phenomenon, Dave writes in about his experience buying a flight through Expeida.
Check out gethuman.com’s database of secret numbers and codes to quickly get a human on many company’s customer service lines. It’s an evolution of the original-flavored Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Cheat Sheet we posted about, but with lots more companies and info.
As we prepare to enter the most wonderful time of the year—the time after the holidays are over—The Consumerist is working to help prepare you for the inevitable calls to customer service departments. Whether it’s to return a product, get some directions, or just to find a sympathetic voice to leave on hold for ten minutes at a time *, you’re going to have to navigate the Interactive Voice Response systems that serve as gatekeepers to real, bored human employees.