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Listen Carefully as Our Options Have Changed

by Rosanne D’Ausilio, Ph.D., President Human Technologies Global, Inc.

Who cares!?!  We listen and follow instructions, do we not? 

I’m making some assumptions here.  Yes, I know what happens when you make assumptions, but I am a customer service expert and know a little something about customets, so I give myself permission.  Here goes:

  1. You/we are savvy people.
  2. You’re reading this, so you are computer literate.
  3. You/we are happy to use self service—when it works!

By the way, self service doesn’t work so well.  According to a Kanisa webinar @ CRM Magazine, only 14% of people don’t know you have a website.  Here’s the actual breakdown:

           42% - of customers say it’s too hard for customers to find what they need
           34% - customers don’t trust the system or the answers
            7% - the answers aren’t there

That’s 86% of the people!  This is a terrible exposure for any company’s website.  You are/we are one click away from the competition.

  1.  Your/our intelligence is challenged by “listen carefully” – we do listen so we know which button we want/need to push.  And if all else fails, zero pound (known as an octothorp) usually gets you to a human. 
  2. Many times the options have not changed—and it’s a gimmick to make you think they have.

What’s my point here?  Treat you/me/us with dignity and respect.  That means just give us the menu without the excess verbiage.  Tell me which number to push for which department and please give me a ‘zero out’ option so I don’t get caught in IVR hell. 

  1. Finally, KISS, Keep it Super Simple.  I/we love the idea of taking care of ourselves, of being given options in order to do so 24/7, but don’t give me/us too many options that I/we are forced to push a button to hear them all over again!
  2. Originally it was reported that the mind can remember 7 things.  The latest studies suggest 3-4 things maximum.  And how many options are we given on IVR?  My experience tells me many more than 3-4.  Interesting, no?

I repeat “who cares” if your menu has changed, I/you/we care more if we can easily navigate the options offered to us and get to where we want to get to quickly and easily.  Don’t you agree?

About the Author
Rosanne D'Ausilio, Ph.D., industrial psychologist, President of Human Technologies Global, Inc., specializes in human performance management for contact centers, providing needs analyses, instructional design, and customized, live, world class customer service skills trainings.

Known as 'the practical champion of the human, she authors the best-sellers, Wake Up Your Call Center: Humanize Your Interaction Hub, 4th edition, Customer Service and The Human Experience and Lay Your Cards on the Table: 52 Ways to Stack You Personal Deck, and hot off the press How to Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch: 101 Insider Tips as well as her popular ‘tips’ newsletter on How To Kick Your Customer Service Up A Notch! available at Reach her at