The New York Times recently published an article about those interactive voice response systems that we all hate so much, and in it we were introduced to Walter Rolandi. He designs these systems and it’s his great privilege to be able to listen to you swearing at them.
From the New York Times:
Walter Rolandi is founder of the Voice User Interface Company, which designs and assesses interactive voice response systems for companies. As part of his job, he hears how people use the systems.
“I’ve listened to thousands of people interacting with machines,” Mr. Rolandi said. “You hear sighs of resignation. You hear people swear. If businesses knew what I knew, they would not design them this way. Many people do not take into account the emotional state of the customer. When you call someone for customer service, you’ve got a problem and you’re probably in a bad mood. You hear someone telling you your call is so important that we won’t let you talk to a human. Then they slap people with too many options, and eventually, you’re in a fight with the system. When you do get a customer representative, you’re loaded for bear.”
So the next time you’re stuck in an endless “press 2, press 3, press 4, say your name” hell, be sure to say “hi” to Walter.. just in case.
Far From Always Being Right, the Customer Is on Hold [NYT]