When Calling a Business, Do We Still Need a Human to Answer?
In this day and age, when calling a business do we still need to be able to speak to a human or is that just for old people?
My kids do everything online. They never have to speak to humans when banking, ordering a book, paying a car note or booking a vacation. I on the other hand still write checks, put them in an envelope, stick a stamp to it and run out to the mailbox. Is that too old-school?
The way I think about is all that online stuff is convenient and of course, I do things online as well, but what about the day something goes wrong...and it will. Don't you want to be able to pick up the phone and talk to somebody? A real live person.
The other day, I had a very serious issue with a major finance company. There was a problem with my credit report that was being caused by invalid information being provided by this particular financial establishment. A problem, that if unresolved, would end up costing me a lot of money.
I tried on and off most of the day to get someone on the phone. Each time I called, I would be on hold for about 40 minutes then a recording would come on and tell me to "visit the website". Well, I didn't want to visit the website as that's what got me into this situation, to begin with.
After about eight attempts, I finally got someone on the phone. A female, I could tell she was at a phone center with many other people as it was loud, who barely spoke English. By the way, I happen to believe if I'm doing business with an American company, a person who can speak comprehendible English should be offered to me.
She took all my information, searched for my account, couldn't find it and DISCONNECTED ME. Like the instructions on a shampoo bottle, I repeated the process. Only this time, never managed to get a human to answer again.
After three days of trying to reach a live person to help me, I just gave up. The problem is still on my credit report and still causing me financial headaches.
I know some people who won't even go to a grocery store for food, they order online and have the store deliver it. I know people who haven't made a local purchase in over five years. I know people who don't know what checks even look like. I think all that online stuff is fine for most people, especially Melinialls...until something goes wrong. And it will one day. And trust me, you will need to actually talk to a human being.
So businesses, offer all the online bells and whistles but keep a few folks employed in front of a phone that has a few buttons on it. Maybe even a cord. I think that makes us all feel better knowing they're there just in case we need 'um.