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October 07, 2004



I regret to make this so short but I just want to mention a personal experience. Through my dealings with Dell, and the difficulty I had making a payment on my preffered account, my opinion of this company has gone done, almost to a terminal level. I kept getting lost in automation translation and it was all because of the difficulty I had in contacting a real person. I agree with you Seth. 100%.

Dan responding to Ken

I understand where you're coming from Ken, but what you describe is typical - it's called bad automation design. If you get lost in an IVR, or can't opt out, that's just bad design. It's really hard to do, but it can be done. Usually the problem is over-ambitousness on the part of the designer - trying to automate too many things. This complicates the tree, and the customer loses the "mental model" of where they are in the interaction. Also, some people just don't listen, or get distracted while using the IVR and choose the wrong path. A smart design would "know" that a user was looping, or lost and offer to escalate. It lessens the effectiveness of the automation, but balances the customer satisfaction. I never said it was easy - but it can be done, and pays huge dividends when done well.


I read your blog on outsourcing. This blog is quite informative for my business, even I have blog on outsourcing so can we exchange the links to share our knowledge resources.


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