Thursday, December 07, 2023

I'll Have an Old Fashioned, Please

The customer service process for many organizations nowadays often begins with a "chat" stage in which you are not chatting with a real person. If the subject becomes more complicated, a real person eventually arrives. If you are lucky, you won't need to repeat what was said to the robot, but that's not always the case.

Note, however, that even if you are "chatting" with a real person, it is not a real chat. Everything is written. You cannot hear hesitations or points of emphasis. Often, there are gaps in-between the responses that would not be in a telephonic or face-to-face chat.

Those gaps, of course, permit the customer service person to handle several people at once. That adds to the superficiality of the exchange.

The very word "chat" implies something that is warm and casual.

Something personal.

I can't think of a decent substitute term for the faux chat, but it would be nice to have one.

Better yet, let's get old fashioned and talk over the phone.


Julian said...

It's one of those things that I truly, utterly despise. The banks, insurance companies and mobile operators seem to play each other off to see who can keep you waiting longest and drive a stake through my patient -- not very, sadly -- heart. I long for the days when you can speak to a real person and not a robot.

Take care, Julian

Michael Wade said...


It's maddening. Even if the "exchange" goes reasonably well, we have been robbed of the human connection. The other people in these "chats" have been so scripted that their role could be filled by a smarter robot and, of course, eventually will be.