The Lesson Behind Pressing “Zero” Several Times

Angry phone person

From time to time, we’ve all had to call a variety of places to get a question answered about an account of ours or perhaps get some tech support, something along those lines.

For me, with most of these calls, I was immediately presented with the automated:

“If you need help with billing, press one.

“If you need tech support, press two.”

Now, if it were that simple, I would not be writing this post. After pressing ‘one’ or ‘two’ or ‘five’ or ‘seven’, I was given another round of choices and then another round and then another.

After several minutes of wading through automated, robotic, impersonal voice menus, I MIGHT get to where I wanted to go. Mind you, I wanted to get to that place fairly quickly. And, most importantly, I wanted that place to include a PERSON who would talk to me and help me quickly resolve whatever concern I had.

Now, I know these automated systems can save companies a good deal of money, but are they really improving each company’s actual bottom line?

How many customers get so frustrated with the tedious menus and lack of personal attention that they just decide to go elsewhere? I’d love to see some statistics on that. I know I’ve just hung up several times and made a mental note to consider an alternative to continued business with the company that I just hung up with.

I did find out one interesting trick in this whole thing. If you press zero regardless of the menu choices you’re being given, sometimes that takes you right to a live person. And here’s another really interesting tidbit: sometimes you press zero and you’re told “We’re sorry but we don’t recognize that choice” and then you press zero again or perhaps two, three, four more times in a row and THEN you’re given a live person. I’ve had that work several times.

What does that tell you?

These companies are not so completely disconnected from their customers that they’re willing to have an “unpublished” way of reaching a live person.

I’m also thinking that it’s a crazy way of doing business to KEEP your customers away from live contact with your company.

I recommend you never make the same mistake.

About Stan Dubin

One Response to “The Lesson Behind Pressing “Zero” Several Times”

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  1. Wordmasters_ says:

    I’ve always wondered why a company would tell it’s customers “Go away and don’t bother us.” That’s exactly what an automated phone system says to me!

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