Have you ever been lost in voice mail purgatory? You know – when you call a company and are greeted with an automated attendant that gives you 10 options, you push one only to get 10 more options, and so on. It is frustrating when you have a specific question, and the options offered don’t really meet your needs. Whatever happened to a live operator who can direct your call appropriately, and be the first impression of a company and its customer service policies?
Yes, maybe it costs less to pay for the automated attendant instead of an employee. Although there may be some argument for efficiency, it is doubtful that the customer on the other end thinks it is very efficient. There are some cases where it is great (airline flight info, banking balance and transfers), but when a company bases its business on customer service it is important to have a live person on the other end to greet and direct callers. In an age of technology advances, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.