Author Topic: 'Your call is important to us': Not really, University of Minnesota study shows  (Read 608 times)

rcjordan

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"Research from the University of Minnesota posits that many businesses intentionally make it hard for consumers to complain — and it works."

http://m.startribune.com/your-call-is-important-to-us-not-really-university-of-minnesota-study-shows/566696501/

Rupert

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Just going through one of these with Norwegian airlines....

We will win. But now have to wait a further 3 months for the ADR to make them give us £500. 
It was months ago, we were delayed more than 6 hours.... but I suspect many will have given up by now.

you can always go to Trust pilot...
https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.meetandgreetmanchesterairportparking.co.uk?page=2
... Make sure you live before you die.

rcjordan

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>Trustpilot

Interesting Yelp replacement, but a quick look of US companies turns up very little.  UK-centric?

ergophobe

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He said he knows of cases where AI is used to detect the emotions of consumers: “They will only transfer you when you are about to explode.”

I liberally sprinkle F-bombs into my calls when talking to AI voice assistants in situations where they make it hard to talk to a human. It often gets you transferred to an agent.

That said, I think there are two structural things at work.

The first is the same thing that has made air travel so miserable - everyone buys on price. American Airlines tried the experiment a few years back of offering more leg room in economy and it completely backfired. They had fewer seats, those seats cost more, nobody bought them, AA but the missing seats back in.

As long as everyone buys on price, companies will not staff call centers or be set up to handle complaints. I don't think it's accurate to say they are intentionally making it harder, but rather they are intentionally cutting costs in ways that inevitably make it harder, which then saves even more cost.

In other words, the authors think the average company is sitting around with Snidely Whiplash cackles devising ways to make it harder to get service. My experience inside and outside of high touch industries is that people talk all about improving service, but if profits are down two months in a row, all those high ideals get chucked out the window.

The second one is the basic ratchet effect described in one of my favorite books of recent years, Nick Harkaway's "Gone Away World," (which is very funny and the character of Master Wu is one of the best ever). Anyway, he says that companies become inhumane by ratcheting down.
 - first there's a decent Grade D Pencil Neck making (say) the customer service decisions
 - the Grade C Pencil Neck above him, however, is getting pressure from the Grade B Pencil neck to lower costs.
 - So C tells D to cut staff and lower costs
 - But the Grade D Pencil Neck is a decent guy with a good dose of basic humanity and he cares for customer and says no
 - So the Grade C fires the Grade D and replaces himself with just a bit less humanity.

Over time, the basic amount of humanity in a corporation ratchets down until, as with the company in the book, there are no humans actually left in the corporation and, despite what Mitt Romney believes, corporations are no longer people too.

Rupert

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UK-centric?
  probably. 
... Make sure you live before you die.

rcjordan

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>Over time, the basic amount of humanity in a corporation ratchets down

We've mentioned similar before; When the founder dies (or sells out, or steps aside), whatever remains of the moral code of the company goes out with him.

>steps aside
Sergey & Larry

Torben

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> UK-centric?

Actually a danish company with EU focus