The NYT Talks About Customer Service

The article is a little shallower than I would like, but this excerpt it stellar:

“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.”

(bold, red added)

Personal riff:
We've been using 1-800.Goog-411 for a while. It's very useful, but can be frustrating... I finally figured out that if I didn't want the all the way across town, not to give it my zip code, but instead the name of a small town near my zip code. (Which is closer than all the way across the large city my zip code is in.) Anyway, I've given entire monologues to that system before, "I hope someone is listening to this recording, because this is entirely stupid. I can't think of any other way to pronounce this word, but your computer can't get it," and "Ok, that's NOT in any way close to my starting zip code. Why is it doing that? I know there's one closer, I drive by it daily, and that's the one I need to call!"

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