> And don't you just hate it when the voicemail system asks for your
> account code so they "can better process your call" and the very first
> thing that the human operator asks for is your account number?
> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Actually, in the case of human
> operators, its not a bad thing that they ask first for your account
> number or other identifying feature. While you are on the line
> explaining your problem, the better trained agents can be scanning
> your account as you are speaking, and frequently have an intelligent
> and correct answer for you when you have finished stating your
> problem. Would you prefer that they listen politely to your problem,
> _then_ ask for your account number, go away, and come back in a minute
> or two with an answer? Even for automated systems, the several
> seconds required for voicemail to give its spiel is time the system
> can be spinning its disk drives and looking up your account if it
> knows your name and identity. PAT]
I think you may have missed the point. Once you have given your
account code to the automated system, that account number should
be directly available on the human agent's screen when the agent
gets your call. It's easy enough for a decent automated system
to handle this -- but it is surprising to me that so many automated
systems seem to have been assembled by folks who just don't get it
(or perhaps by folks who really don't like their employer ...).
It is certainly not easy to design an excellent user interface for a
customer -- especially if you are not willing to spend what it takes
to get a good speech recogition engine (and to train it for your
application -- getting the grammar rules right is an art, but there
are systems available in the market now whch do an excellent job).
But designing an excellent user interface for your human agents should
be a whole lot easier -- and that interface should start by gathering
everything the customer has entered so far on this call.