Chances are these days when making a business call, whether it is to the cable company or even your doctor, the first contact will be with a recorded message that will issue prompts for you to follow.
While some still allow you to press “0” to speak to a real person, most companies have caught on and when you press “0” you will, more than likely, be told that is an invalid response and either be hung up on or be returned to the main menu.
The latest IVR scripts have come up with an even more personal way to deal with your call, including calls from frustrated customers who can’t help but let the “F” bomb fly while being asked for additional information, not realizing someone is actually listening in on the call.
How do I know this?
It just so happens that I recently purchased a new phone, my first “smart” phone, and found the Quick Start Guide that came with the phone lacked quite a bit of information, leading me to believe that either I wasn’t smart enough to own a smart phone or the company got a kick out of messing with its customers.
Of course, I assumed the latter, and decided that I could do one of two things (1) read the guide several times ultimately resulting in my throwing the phone out the window, or (2) call and ask someone how to use the phone. I opted for the phone call.
This is roughly how the call went:
System: Hello, and welcome to Mobile Net Mobile. Please listen carefully as our menu has changed. In order to serve you better, please enter your mobile phone number now.
S: Thank you. We have located your account but we need to verify some information before we can assist you further. Are you the person whose name is on the account?
M: Uh, yeah, duh.
S: I’m sorry. I did not understand your response. If you are the person who is calling on this account, please press 1 for yes, 2 for no.
M: (pressed) 1
S: Good. Now, in a few words, can you please tell us your issue so that we may direct you to the proper department.
M: I am having trouble…
S: I’m sorry, did you say billing?
M: No. Technical.
S: I’m sorry. I am having trouble understanding you. Are you having technical difficulties? If so, please press 1 now.
M: (Pressed) 1.
S: Thank you. I understand you are having technical difficulties. Is that correct?
M: With you I am…
S: I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that. Let’s start again. Are you calling about your billing?
M: (Screaming into the phone) NO!
S: Good, I’ll connect you to that department now. Please be advised that our billing department is experiencing a high volume of calls this time of day which means you may have a longer than normal wait. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
M: But I wanted…
S: Dead space (companies no longer spend valuable company assets on assinine mood music that obviously doesn’t work).
M: (Into dead space) What the Fu*k is taking so long?
S: I’m sorry, did you just swear at me?
M: What the Fu*k?
S: If yes, press 1. If no, press 2.
S: Thank you. Now, before we go any further, I’ll need to clarify your response. If you said the “F” word but meant to say Fiddlesticks, press 1. If you meant to say Fudge, please press 2 now. If you are sorry you said the “F” word and want to apologize, in order to continue this conversation, please press 3 now. If you meant to say the “F” word, please press 4 and this call will be disconnected.
M: (Pressed) 3.
S: Good, we accept your apology. Please hold while we connect you to billing.
M: But I want to speak to…
S: Hello, my name is Alana. May I please have the last 4 digits of your Social Security number?
Alana: Thank you Ms. Dinkins. Now, how may I help you today?
M: For starters, you can transfer me to the fu*king technical department…
Alana: I see. One moment please…
S: It seems you found it necessary to curse out our CSR after promising not to. We ask that you lose the attitude before we continue. If you would like to lose the attitude, say or press 1 now. There is no other option.
S: Good. Again, we accept your apology. Now, in a few words, please tell us how we may help you today.
M: Well, for starters, you can let me talk to a fu*…I mean, I would like to speak to a real person.
S: One moment please. We are connecting you to the billing department. Due to a high volume of calls, you may experience a long wait time. While you are waiting, may we go over some of the exciting new technical features on your smart phone?