T <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sat, 24 Mar 2007 02:33:26 -0400 wrote:
> Voice recognition never seems to work for me. I don't like it at
> all. I complain to the human who eventually answers and they say "oh
> yes, we have a lot of complaints on that". Well, get rid of it, damn
> And they were right. Reciting your 16 digits is harder than tapping
> them in, especially when the machine comes back "Sorry, I do not
> understand" five times and you go crazy trying to get through it.
My experience is that whoever sets up the IVR matters and how they set
it up. Many don't have a clue on what's logical and what's not. As
an example, Rogers/Fido in Canada decided that they'd set up "Andrea"
to take care of customer functions. When they first got "Andy" up and
running she was just plain stupid and for just about anything and
everything the response was pretty much "I didn't get that" and you'd
scream normal things like "operator", "assistance", "agent" or any
number of things and you'd still get "I didn't get that." Evidently
someone in the back finally got word that how they'd programmed the
IVR was just awful and they finally used normal things like allowing
you to press 0 to talk to a real person and used terminology that
someone would typically use such as "operator" rather than what they
On the other hand a really good implementation of an IVR would have to
be what T-Mobile chose to use. All responses are what a normal person
would use and if it cannot understand you it doesn't make you
endlessly try other words it will simply transfer you to a real person
to speak to. My gripe with IVRs is that IVRs are pretty much useless
if you are making a call and there's lots of ambient background noise.
Even a loud clapping sound is enough to confuse the IVR. Bottom line
is how the IVR and phone "tree" is set up. It can be logical or it
can be as illogical as possible. All my bank cards have crappy phone
trees that do not have any logic at all. I complain to the person
finally taking my call, but I'm guessing that it will not do any good
at least with banks and big corporations like Citi, Bank One, etc.
> And the S.O.B. administrators won't let you enter zero to get a
> human, they freakin' force you to go through their hell.
Cox technical support for HSI recently rolled out a voice response
troubleshooter that is absolutely useless and only serves to frustrate.
One of the first things its says is "Hmmm, I can't see your modem. Try
unplugging it, wait twenty seconds and then plug it back in. Say
'continue' when you're ready."
Since I've already tried that little tech support trick, I just start
screaming "AGENT" about twenty times and that finally gets the system
to connect me to a human.