• NutWrench@lemmy.world
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    7 days ago

    The point of modern “customer service” is to NOT provide customer service. If you can drag out the conversation to the point where the caller rage-quits in frustration, then the company can avoid spending any money on fixing any problems they’ve caused.

    • Buttons@programming.dev
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      7 days ago

      This is how companies that don’t have competition act. This is how most companies act. We need more anti-trust enforcement.

    • hamsterkill@lemmy.sdf.org
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      7 days ago

      Previous way for companies to cut down on customer support costs was to make a better quality product (making support interactions rarer). That is not so much the philosophy anymore.

    • rottingleaf@lemmy.zip
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      7 days ago

      It’s also similar to scammers. When you are not quite certain if you’ve been scammed, you’ll first ask. There’s a percentage of cases where you won’t bother for the sum, because you’ve used the energy on pinging them.

      While in case of companies you could have used that energy to, say, post “X is crap” somewhere in the Web.

      • T156@lemmy.world
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        7 days ago

        Depends on whether scammers will also use a similar AI system to do their job for them. If they do, they might be basically indistinguishable.

  • Asafum@feddit.nl
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    7 days ago

    “Corporations love the idea of not paying anyone.”

    Would be a more useful headline. It doesn’t matter what consumers want. All that matters to large corporations is what the consumer will bear.

    • Bonskreeskreeskree@lemmy.world
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      7 days ago

      What a consumer will tolerate has nothing to do with it either. If a consumers only choices are all aligned, you’re shit out of luck.

  • Hazzard@lemm.ee
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    7 days ago

    Storytime! Earlier this year, I had an Amazon package stolen. We had reason to be suspicious, so we immediately contacted the landlord and within six hours we had video footage of a woman biking up to the building, taking our packages, and hurriedly leaving.

    So of course, I go to Amazon and try to report my package as stolen… which traps me for a whole hour in a loop with Amazon’s “chat support” AI, repeatedly insisting that I wait 48 hours “in case my package shows up”. I cannot explain to this thing clearly enough that, no, it’s not showing up, I literally have video evidence of it being stolen that I’m willing to send you. It literally cuts off the conversation once it gives its final “solution” and I have to restart the convo over and over.

    Takes me hours to wrench a damn phone number out of the thing, and a human being actually understands me and sends me a refund within 5 minutes.

    • laranis@lemmy.zip
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      7 days ago

      My guess is you’re one of the 10% or so who didn’t give up in frustration. My % assumption might be off, but assuming any percentage of people gave up and walked away without costing Amazon a dime the system was working perfectly.

        • Malfeasant@lemmy.world
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          6 days ago

          My wife… She will never stop buying from Amazon no matter how shitty they become. She was refusing to go to Wendy’s for a while because they were considering surge pricing, she swore up and down she would not reward a company for doing that - so I said what about Amazon? How often does prime get you free shipping anymore? And with streaming, now you have to watch ads when you didn’t before… But of course that’s all “different”.

    • Fredselfish@lemmy.world
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      7 days ago

      Dude could save yourself time by just going to contact page and ask for a call. I never use these companies chat features.

      Also I found if I Google customer service numbers regurdless of company than I can get a number to call 85% of the time.

      Of course after that you either got to fight robot to get a human on the phone that 9 times out of 10 will be a person out of India who also acts like a goddamm robot that doesn’t understand English.

      But my biggest pet peeve is a lot of times I have ro get a supervisor to solve a problem that would take the customer service agent ten seconds to solve.

      • UnderpantsWeevil@lemmy.world
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        7 days ago

        I never use these companies chat features.

        Historically, these chat interfaces were tied out to a call center somewhere on the opposite side of the planet. Now they’re entirely prompt-engineered. So you used to be able to work a claim through chat without sitting on a phone call for hours at a time. But now they obscure their customer support phone number behind six layers of tabs and links, while shoving the “WOULD YOU LIKE TO CHAT WITH A REPRESENTATIVE” button in your face the whole way, fully knowing it doesn’t actually connect to anything that will help.

        But my biggest pet peeve is a lot of times I have ro get a supervisor to solve a problem that would take the customer service agent ten seconds to solve.

        A lot of the agents are just working off of written prompts anyway. But they do get experience with these problems over time (or recognize a slew of the same problem coming in at once) and can cut through the shit to give you a real, human response. Sometimes that response is simply “We can’t help, because of widespread technical / systems issues”, but that’s better than being bounced through an automated service that feeds out generic non-answers and useless how-to guides.

      • Hazzard@lemm.ee
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        6 days ago

        Ugh, if only. Amazon has done everything in their power to bury and strip that number from the internet. Once upon a time that worked great.

    • UnderpantsWeevil@lemmy.world
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      7 days ago

      So of course, I go to Amazon and try to report my package as stolen… which traps me for a whole hour in a loop with Amazon’s “chat support” AI, repeatedly insisting that I wait 48 hours “in case my package shows up”.

      I tried to change the dates of a car rental through Priceline, a day after I entered the order. I got a message saying “You cannot change this order until 72 hours before your arrival” which I thought was weird. But I bookmarked the date and called as soon as I was inside the window. “Oops! Sorry, you can’t cancel or change the reservation because too much time has passed!” was the automated response.

      Absolute fucking scam. So I submitted a complaint through my credit card company to reject the charges. In this particular case, automation worked in my favor, because AMEX’s dispute process is as opaque and arcane for the vendors as Priceline’s support desk was for its own clients.

      But its increasingly computerized horseshit. Nothing actually fucking works, except the vacuum they hook up to your bank account every time they find an excuse to extract payment.

    • rottingleaf@lemmy.zip
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      7 days ago

      These things having a clearly visible and usable button to ask for a human should be mandated by law.

      Also have you tried writing “operator” to it? That may work. Sometimes.

  • BastingChemina@slrpnk.net
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    7 days ago

    I think it’s more “Most consumers hate the idea of a bad, unhelpful customer service”.

    I’m fine with AI if it was actually helping to solve my issue, but it is generally not the case.

      • laranis@lemmy.zip
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        7 days ago

        See: Rufus, Amazon’s chatbot. I’ve never seen a more useless application of electrons. If it isn’t already in the description then it can’t help you.

        If it is already in the description I don’t need your shitty chatbot, Jeffrey.

        • Malfeasant@lemmy.world
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          6 days ago

          a more useless application of electrons

          Microsoft is worse… Have a problem, google it, find a link that has a promising summary, click it- “try Windows 11!” Because that’s what dead links do.

  • soulfirethewolf@lemdro.id
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    7 days ago

    Consumer disapproval of AI use in customer service is unlikely to keep firms from deploying the technology as the cost savings are just too great

    So much for the market determining what goes

    • jj4211@lemmy.world
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      7 days ago

      The market does determine, unfortunately the market is relatively unfazed by subpar customer service. It has to be really bad or a huge legal catastrophe before it moves the needle. Which is why phone trees and long wait times are ubiquitous despite being universally hated. Marketing and sales and having a 90+ % rate of people that don’t ever feel the need to call customer service basically eliminates that bad service as a concern.

      Even when asus had a famously bad customer service scandal this year, their sales continued to rise unabated.

  • RememberTheApollo_@lemmy.world
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    7 days ago

    Companies don’t want to provide actual service for problems. That costs money. They want you to give up.

    Customers hate anything that actually gets between them and someone that can actually help. Not shitty, complicated automated phone menus. Not some underpaid stooge who refuses to da anything except read from a mandatory customer service script. And not AI, which will combine both of the worst aspects of automation and scripted service along with a cheerful idiot that will spare no effort to direct you away from the nearest actual assistance.

  • Ballistic_86@lemmy.world
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    7 days ago

    Automated phone systems have been a thing for decades. They are notoriously shitty and adding a layer of “friendly AI” on top of that shitty system doesn’t bode well.

    • T156@lemmy.world
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      7 days ago

      They’re usually built for the lowest bidder.

      and that’s even before it has to contend with you having an accent, or the mic quality being anything less than crystal clear, with a perfect connection.

  • ToucheGoodSir@lemy.lol
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    6 days ago

    Yeah it turns out that using a statistical model to handle customer service leads to a degraded customer experience, because statistical models aren’t humans and lack many human attributes.

    • storcholus@feddit.org
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      6 days ago

      Also, “the progress” only works because it’s humans who bend the rules and show kindness to special situations

  • StaySquared@lemmy.world
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    7 days ago

    Around my way, we have a pizza chain where they’ve began utilizing AI to take orders over the phone. The only screw up the AI made was that at first, before the process of taking our order down, it wanted to confirm that we live within the delivery distance, so we provided our home address and it verified that we were within range of delivery, after taking the order and repeating it back to us, including that the order will be delivered to our home address (providing the details of the home address) within a certain time range, the moment it asked us if this information is correct, we said yes and then a long pause, and it responded that it could not verify our home address.

    Wat.

    And because we decided to speak to a human, it apparently dumped the entire order and the person who answered our call did not have access to all the details we provided the AI.

    Pretty much wasted a little over 5 minutes with the AI.

    • MutilationWave@lemmy.world
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      7 days ago

      If they’re using AI to answer their phones surely they have a website right? Who under the age of 40 is actually calling a pizza place to order?

      • FiveMacs@lemmy.ca
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        7 days ago

        Me…it’s literally cheaper to call then use the internet to order. Try comparing the in-house menu, to the bullshit apps, to the website menu to calling and asking for a deal.

        Calling is always cheaper especially if you pickup.

        I also refuse to use any automated system. 0#0#0#0#0#0# or I keep saying human, representative, human human until the shiity programmed not gives up. Worst case, I actually go to the business in person.

        The internet and companies is broken beyond belief.

  • Borna Punda@lemmy.zip
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    7 days ago

    Honestly, I’ll take anything over those outsourced call centers at this point. Half of those representatives barely speak English.

    • TheGrandNagus@lemmy.world
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      7 days ago

      Yup. I was literally born in India, lived there until I was 7, and have an Indian mother who very much still sounds Indian, and even I struggle to understand what outsourced Indian/Pakistani call centre staff say sometimes, especially when there’s background noise.

      • Flying Squid@lemmy.world
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        7 days ago

        And there’s almost always either background noise or a bad connection. Sometimes I go sit in my car and listen over my car speakers, which are decent speakers, and it doesn’t even help.

        • circasurvivor@sh.itjust.works
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          7 days ago

          I had to call into Fedex Worldwide’s help center for an issue with a shipment on my company’s account the other day, and there was so much noise in the background, the guy I was speaking with actually stopped mid sentence to tell a bunch of people behind him to be quiet, then continued on like it was a normal.

          Not that it should be acceptable to happen with a retail consumer level call, but it just seemed so unprofessional for communication related to a business account.

          • Malfeasant@lemmy.world
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            6 days ago

            Tell that to my employer… We moved to a bigger office a little over a year ago. The old office was cramped, but it was reasonably quiet. Those of us who are on the phones were in a corner pretty well shielded from everything else. The new place is one huge continuous expanse, and we’re right in the middle of it. And it’s what I would call cheap and unfinished, but a commercial realtor would call it “modern industrial” meaning you can see all the wiring and ductwork and such- and bare concrete. Which makes sound carry throughout and echo. Just the other day my boss had to go hush a gaggle of developers that were congregating 20 feet away and laughing uproariously.

  • xe3@lemmy.world
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    7 days ago

    Tbf most consumers hate all customer service.

    While I’d prefer to just speak to a human, I’d much prefer AI over the status quo of dead dumb automated systems that just keep looping through the same preset options until you get enraged and give up or mash zero

    • TheClockStruck13@lemmy.world
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      6 days ago

      What if it’s a dead dumb human? My god the moment I know I’m talking to someone in a sweat shop in Mumbai I know I’m not going to get a lot of support

    • bleistift2@sopuli.xyz
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      6 days ago

      The EU has done so much regarding customer protection lately that I’m surprised they haven’t mandated a 20-minute limit in phone hotlines.