Get me to a human – fast

When it comes to banking, I do pretty much everything online. I review my statements, pay my bills, download transactions into Quicken, check my account balances, change my address. If I need to do it and there’s a way for me to do it online, I will.

The only time I call my credit card companies is when I can’t find the option on their Web site. So what happens when I call?

  • First, I have to enter my credit card number.
  • Then I get a message playing back my current balance, minimum payment, due date. (None of which I need.)
  • Then I have to listen to a bunch of options, which don’t apply.
  • Eventually, I find my way through the maze to an option that lets me speak to someone.
  • While I’m waiting for someone, I keep getting messages about how great their Website is and how much simpler my life would be if I just used their Web site.
  • When I’m finally connected, I’m asked for my credit card number.

Banks (and other companies, like airlines and hotels) should identify their self-service, Web heavy customers and expedite their call flows. If you know that when I call you it’s because I can’t use your Web site, flag my account to let me bypass the options and menus and get me to a human faster.

This also serves as a retention tool – once I’ve gotten to the point where I know you’ll take care of me, I’m less likely to jump ship.


About Rakesh Agrawal

Rakesh Agrawal is Senior Director of product at Amazon (Audible). Previously, he launched local and mobile products for Microsoft and AOL. He tweets at @rakeshlobster.
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