Is there anything more frustrating in this world than sitting on the phone to a call centre, going through option after option to try and speak to a human being? It’s enough to drive anyone to distraction. They may think they are cooling you down by playing the Four Seasons while you wait, but it’s not classical music you need, it’s a HUMAN BEING! Wading through option after option feels like a complete waste of time, but it’s your only choice – there are very few other ways of ‘instantly’ getting an answer. You’re going to have to take a deep breath, and be patient. But here are some tips to make it as stress-free as possible:
Pick Your Moment
Don’t make that call when the kids are going mad, the dogs need their dinner and the doorbell has just rung. Choose your moment carefully – if you accept that it is going to take a while at least you’ll know you have the next 10 minutes (okay that’s optimistic!) free. Make a cup of tea, sit in your favorite armchair and put something on the television to distract you while you wait. When it comes to the options, you need to really listen carefully, and pay attention when you are pressing the button. One false move could send you right to the back of the queue again.
Handling IVR (Interactive Voice Recognition) Phone Systems
Not content with driving you up the wall with a number option system, some companies want to go the whole hog and force you to use an IVR system. This is where the system asks you to give information for example your name and account number, and navigate through a series of options using ‘yes’ and ‘no’ as answers. Now, the thing is with this system is that it is actually very easy, as long as they have a decent system, and as long as you speak clearly. Enunciate your words as clearly as possible, and if you have an accent then try to dilute it a little. It should be obvious, but don’t shout at it (but come on, we all have haven’t we?!).
Here Are Some Cheats!
License: Creative Commons image source
Apparently there are some cheats and it’s always worth googling the company you are trying to contact, and seeing if anybody has found any ways of cheating the system. Sometimes pressing the ‘0’ button repeatedly automatically puts you through to a human being. There are other codes and symbols that can work too, but it’s worth checking first, rather than randomly hitting buttons!
The key to using automated phone systems is to stay calm at all times. No amount of shouting at the recorded messages will get you through any more quickly, as tempting as it might be! If it’s non-urgent then consider sending an email or a letter instead – it’ll save you time in the long run. Unfortunately they are a fact of modern life and until things improve we are stuck with them, so you might as well use them in the best possible way!
Author Bio: This guest post written by James Morrison, He is a network engineer at Simpified Telephone Solutions, a firm providing cloud based call center solutions in Toronto, Canada. After a hard day of work, he winds up with a cup of coffee and a good book to read.