I have a pathological dislike for automated phone systems. It annoys me that I have to listen (at the company’s convenience, not mine) to an entire menu of options before I find that the thing I rang for in the first place isn’t listed. I might have a simple question to ask, but I can’t ask it. No, instead I get another menu of more options. Automated phone systems are time-consuming, irritating and inflexible. They say to me that I am not an important enough customer of that company for one of their employees to speak to me. They say, hello we’re a company that doesn’t care if we annoy you. But most of all, these kind of systems are just so…well, inhuman.
People like people. Companies spend millions reaching out to potential customers, so any direct interaction they have with their customers should be pretty important right? So why automate it? Social media has turned the internet from a place of relative anonymity into a more humanistic and transparent experience, and it is doing the same with the way that brands need to interact with their customers. Take blogging. Blogging gives companies a human face. There’s no place to hide when you blog. Your interaction with your customers is direct and public. It shows your business is not afraid to deal openly, so people trust your company more. Time spent blogging is high leverage time for businesses but with little overhead attached to it. Simple isn’t it? So why don’t more companies do it?