Richard Wilson On Hold

January 17, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As a businesswoman I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve, build and strengthen customer relations. This usually means keeping up with modern technology and employing them appropriately within my business. Whether it be updating our website or joining social networking sites.

However, the technology which I’ve always opted out of is automated telephone systems. Mainly because I believe that customer don’t want to talk to a machine; instead they desire human contact with someone who can help them solve a problem quickly and efficiently.

Richard Wilson On Hold

Last night Richard Wilson, better known as grumpy Victor Meldrew fronted, ‘Richard Wilson On Hold’ a documentary which investigated so called convenience services, such as automated telephone services, self-service checkouts and pay by phone parking meters.

Unsurprisingly the result of his investigation displayed how these supposedly ‘convenient’ services are in fact the complete opposite. Instead of helping consumers they infuriate them making them wait for long periods of time, charging them more money and generally driving the customer to feel utterly stressed.

As the documentary filmed Richard struggling with a cinema’s automated phone system, which failed to recognise his Scottish accent, I couldn’t help but feel his frustration. Then watching him make five attempts to simply pay for parking via an automated telephone service was even more annoying. I won’t even begin to mention the problems presented by supermarket self-service tills…

Richard WIlson on Hold

The most unforgiving convenience service was undoubtedly automated telephone service. In his quest to analyse how inconvenient these services actually are Richard set up his own call-centre. With the help of Age UK volunteers and students they discovered the extent to which consumers are blighted by queue waiting and machine messages. It took one volunteer over 58 minutes to speak to a human being whilst on the telephone to energy provider Eon, which is utterly unacceptable for any business.

So as we sit and wait for these corporations to answer our calls (and make money from us whilst we’re doing so) what do these services do to our wellbeing? It would appear more harm than good in most cases. Test on the show revealed that for the majority of people the frustration caused by automated telephone system raises the blood pressure significant causing stress and anxiety.

Richard Wilson on hold

Although some may argue that these gadgets are money savers- salary and training costs are said to reduce dramatically- I will most certainly be sticking with the traditional method of manned telephones by human beings who’ve I’ve trained. Working in an industry which often works with older people I understand that for many of our customers a telephone conversation is greatly importantly. Not only for customer service purposes but also for social interaction- I believe that this is something which should never be under estimated.

I’m a great believer of free phone numbers call Bath-Knight on 0800 1 690 690

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