Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Quote of the Day: autospeak from customer care agents

I called the Wells Fargo bank about our mortgage, and got to the wrong department.  The friendly, human but slightly automated person offered to transfer me to the mortgage department and I said 'of course, yes please'.  She then continued with this phrase:

"If I connect you, will that take care of the reason for your call?"

My mind did a double-take, went into reverse warp speed, hiccuped, and then I said "what?", since the logic didn't work in my brain.  She repeated her question, exactly like before. By then I had figured out what the sentence meant and how stupid it was, so I just answered:

"I don't know yet."

Whoever is writing these scripts for customer 'care' people who are answering the phones for companies really need to think a bit more human and logical.  How in the melting snow of Antarctica am I supposed to know if a transfer will take care of my problem?  How many stressed out people don't even bother to think and just automatically answer 'yes', when confronted with this an unanswerable question?  It seems like that the question is there just to provide some positive feedback to the customer 'care' agent.

A while ago I had to call the internet company and was on the phone with someone in the Philippines for half an hour.  When the call ended, he entered into the auto-stupid-written-down-speak and said 'thanks for calling Comcast, we are happy we could help you today..', whereby I interrupted and said 'actually, you didn't, the problem is still here and you couldn't solve it'.  He then admitted to that at least.


Sarah said...

I have been on the other end of this autospeak at work - I've been thanked for being "so helpful" (and not sarcastically!) when I've told someone that no, the person they want to speak with is not in and no, I don't know if they are coming back today, and no, I don't know what time they'll be in tomorrow, and no, I can't answer their question, only the attorney can.

LS said...

Sarah - that is interesting. So people are so used to it they are doing it themselves. I told the service tech that was at our house to fix the internet (which he did!), that I felt bad because I have to be mean to customer 'care' people on the phone to get the help I need. I have to argue with them, since they just want to tell me it is MY problem, my computer, my router... it turned out it was the cable to our house that was all corroded through, i.e, THEIR problem. I often feel so angry, used, and annoyed (and disappointed) with companies these days. Nobody wants to do the right thing. It is all about the money and not about the customers.

Maybe the person that thanked you were just happy to talk to a real person and not a recorded auto-message? Just a thought. Plus I know you can be really friendly on the phone :)