Re: "Please Enter Your ID Number" So We May Ignore it

I telephoned a large business today. As usual, the answering machine

> asked me to enter my account number "for faster service". I did so. > After the usual parade through many menus I was connected to an actual > human being. The first thing she asked me for was my account number, > even though I had keyed it in "for faster service". > I find this happens all the time. > What is the point of requesting an account number if it isn't going to > be automatically forwarded to the person handling the call?

With today's fancy computer systems, the idea is that after getting my

> account number, my account screen is immediately displayed to the > person handling my call, saving the time to ask for my account number > and her to key it it. But this never happens. [snip] > Anyone familiar with the programming of these 'automated' systems and > would care to comment? Thanks.

Automatic Call Distribution systems are very expensive, and every company that runs a "customer service" number tries anything it can to cut costs, which usually means outsourcing to third-party vendors, who sometimes have different systems, software, and displays than those you started with at the company you called.

In other words, although their in-house equipment might record your number, they have transferred your call to another system or company that can't make use of the information. This is especially common in out-of-hours call centers, where costs are low enough to justify the added time to manually key your number into the foreign system.



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Reply to
William Warren
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