Automated customer service

9 07 2008

I’m not a fan of dialling customer service hotlines. Most of the time, I would be placed on hold for awhile, listening to recorded voice or some elevator music if good, else music from the wrong radio channel.

That day, this hotline I called beat the cake.

Here’s how it went

CS: “Hi, I am Lee Lee, your automated customer service assistant. For English, please say English”

Me: “English” (Feeling quite ridiculous that I’m saying this)

CS: “For XXX, please say XXX. For YYY, please say YYY……….For more options, please say more options…”

Me: “More Options…” (and that’s when I heard that there’s actually other options after this…damn.. how do I get back to the previous menu??)

CS: “For AAA service, please say AAA. For BBB…..To speak to our customer service officer, please say Customer Service”

Me: “Customer Service”

CS: “Please hold, we will transfer the call to our customer service officer”

(Waited half a sec)

CS: “Hi, I am Lee Lee, your automated customer service assistant. For English, please say English”


I hung up. Called the main line, asked to be transferred to the correct department.

After mins of being placed on hold, I was glad to hear an actual person’s voice. I had the officer help with my request and after that, I said, “Can I give you some feedback?”

CS: Yes please do.

I told the officer that the automated hotline was tedious, quite silly, and I couldn’t get to be transferred to an actual officer to speak to.

He tried to explain that it could be that they are having a high volume of calls etc, which then I counter that it should at least inform the customer that the call was being transferred, not to be put through the entire sequence again.

At the end of it, he understood what I meant. I’m suspecting that he probably feels the same way about the system as I did.

To top this experience, I received a call from another service provider today, requesting for feedback on the performance of a customer service officer which

1. I can’t even remember when did I make the call to this service provider

2. I can’t even remember if I had spoken to a customer service personnel.

I asked when the call was made, the lady replied, “Oh, you made the call 3 weeks ago…”

3 weeks ago?! How would I remember?

Feedback should be timely and prompt. Not 3 weeks later

And please make it easy to speak to an actual person for all those providers out there.

Some thoughts on our working life

19 06 2008

The topic of our work came naturally after education. Sometimes I wonder if we are too attached to our work that we let it define who we are. The line between what we do and we as a person is blurred. But is this necessary?

Moving to a different environment helped me to look at this from a different angle, the life outside of work becomes more obvious, and we do not need to be sucked into our work. Work has become something that helps keep the boredom out and I’m pretty happy spending 8 hours a day at it, no more no less. The good thing is nobody is expecting more than that from me. I may not have a very colourful life outside of my work, but not having to work 12 to 14 hours a day already make me feel a lot more alive.

I’m lucky in the sense that, I may not be totally passionate about my work, but my work happens to be something I’m very interested in. So it’s not difficult for me to feel a certain degree of job satisfaction on an average day, more so when I managed to get a tricky issue resolved.

Having said that, work related concerns still bug me from time to time, things like how do I keep up with the market, the changing technologies, will I still be “employable” after 40. Not to mention the occasional restlessness, the feeling that I may be wasting my life doing something I’m not totally passionate about.

On the other hand, I notice there is a group of people who are totally detached from their work. They come in to the work place, do what they need to do for 8 hours, when the time is up, they pack up and go do their own things, work is never on their minds except for that 8 hours on a work day. I wonder is it because their focus is on something more important to them in their lives. Things like their families, children, that DIY project, a side business, and so on. I don’t think I’m one of them though.

A friend is working in a supposedly great multi national corporation, good enough to be the dream job of many people, with an above average salary, yet the restlessness seems to set in more often now. I can’t help wondering why, is it because she is feeling guilty about not spending enough time with the family, especially her very young children? Is she torned between climbing the corporate ladder and being a parent, a wife, etc? is she feeling that she is not doing something meaningful, although the money may be good? is it…..?

Subjects in school

18 06 2008

A conversation with cityhermit spark this thought: Who decided that we should be taking subjects like Maths, English, History, Geography, Art and Craft, Physics, Chemistry  etc in school?

Talking about the value of the information that we had to learn in school, be tested on. How did all these apply to real life, and would we ever get value from all those that we had to memorize just to get through the exams?

Why don’t we learn applicable and useful information that would help us cope in real life?  Some topics that we thought about:

– Personal Finances and Budget planning
– Human relationship: how to work with people effectively
– How to find your purpose in life
– Staying motivated
– How to change light bulbs and simple repairs at home
– Stress management

Like Literature, how many of us really know how to use Shakespeare’s English? How many of us use differentiation and integration at work? Even so, how many of us apply the information we get from History or geography and apply it in real life?

How did we cope with studying 8 subjects in the same year and pass the exams?

Should someone be looking at revamping the education system??

Questions questions…something worth pondering