The great human versus robot debate: links for 11-10-10
What’s new in the world of IVRs and self-service? Not much, except the age-old debate of whether humans or robots (IVRs) are better at performing customer service. Despite repeated surveys showing the popularity of self-service for some tasks, some customer service experts still love to point out all the failings of badly designed IVR systems while singing the praises of all-human interactions.
Anyone who has ever reached a bored, poorly trained customer service agent at midnight can confirm that human doesn’t always equal better. Likewise, anyone who has been trapped in IVR h*ll, screaming, “I just want to talk to a human!” can testify that sometimes, IVRs do get in the way of delivering great customer service.
This week, the debate rages on:
- Bill Taylor of the Harvard Business Review argues in favor of all-human customer service and against using any type of automation: Press “3” if automation is making you crazy
- One blogger, Voicegal, puts out the call for IVR horror stories (think she’ll get one or two?)
- In the opposing camp, more information showing that airline customers, at least, prefer self-service
- And Ann All, as the voice of compromise and reason, comes to the conclusion that many companies have also reached: Human or IVR: not an either/or question
Which camp are you in? Are humans always better? Does IVR provide value if it’s well-designed? Is there a compromise?