Listen Carefully As Our Options Have Changed

I'm sure as a fellow customer you can recall the automated words ringing in your head 'Listen carefully as our options have changed. 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 customers, so I give myself permission. Here goes:

  1. You are a savvy person.
  2. You’re reading this, so you are also computer literate.
  3. You are happy to use self service—when it works.

By the way, self service doesn’t work so well. According to a Kanisa webinar for CRM Magazine, only 14% of respondants reported they didn't know the company they were calling had 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 one click away from the competition.

  1. Your 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 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. You care more if you can easily navigate the options offered to us and get to where you want to get to quickly and easily. Don’t you agree?