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June 2010

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Making the IVR Ogre Customer-Friendly

June 25, 2010

Fans of the movie series Shrek have seen how a mean and destructive ogre become warm and friendly, and a force for good, wrapped in an arch and sometimes pointed sense of humor.

Are we at last seeing a similar evolution with inbound and outbound IVR systems?

IVRs speech rec as well as DTMF have been and still are the ogres of customer service. Customers are tossed into and pummeled by these virtual creatures if they fail to fall into the elite 20 percent that produce 80 percent of profits--i.e.

AT&T Teaches How Not To Respond to Complaints in The Social Era

June 5, 2010

Imagine or you're actually with a big company that has long since past its prime, that at one time been a regulated monopoly and as such been known for bullying or at best ignoring customers rather than innovating or going out of its way to serve them.

Even though the world has changed since your glory days--you have hungry competitors, your customers can drop your offerings at a flip of the appropriate fingers and they can cost you other buyers by telling the world via social media how lousy your outfit is--your culture hasn't.

So when a customer complains about your service to your CEO: a logical action because that person is ultimately responsible for the actions of your firm, what does one of your good soldiers, just following orders from their superiors of course, do? Threaten the customer, of course.

Don't SLAPP Social Media (or SLAPP, period)

June 2, 2010

Strategic lawsuits against public participation or SLAPPs are the cowards' way of quieting dissent; the legal equivalent of glove-covered brass knuckles. Developers especially are notorious for using this "instrument" to shut up environmentalists and neighbors who dared to speak out against their projects in public meetings. Aided and abetted (of course) by politicians they generously support who then repay such kindness by willingly allowing such thuggery in their jurisdictions.

Now comes the disturbing if not unexpected report from The New York Times that firms have been attempting to SLAPP consumers they appear to have annoyed and who have in turn posted comments on social media sites.

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