Author Topic: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders  (Read 18931 times)

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Offline November

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #50 on: January 30, 2009, 12:01:49 AM »
I was trying to explain what visual menus, and for that matter what clothing catalogs, street billboards, television ads, and commercial websites all represent: pre-educating the consumer so that businesses don't have to spend a lot of money on personalized hand-holding, product demonstrations, and the like.  Those things would require human interaction (notably door-to-door salesmen in some cases) if not preempted by the aforementioned visual mediums.  My point was that you have come to accept those things (menus, catalogs, commercial websites, etc.) in our modern culture even though without them you would have the extra human interaction you desire.  You can dismiss the example all you want, but the point remains quite valid within the scope of global business evolution.  Businesses empower consumers through product knowledge and direct order access in an effort to save money; but empowerment also has the effect of allowing for more completely (and unpressured) thought-out buying decisions and operational transparency which tend to reduce complaints in the long run.  Customers now have fewer opportunities to claim "I didn't get what I wanted."

I have a feeling that you missed the point, Bro.

How could I have missed it?  Your only point has been to talk about the reduction of human interaction in business, and obviously neither of us has been talking about anything else.  Did you have another point?  If so please state it emphatically.

If, and I say this with a huge emphasis on the "if" part, you want to replace all those "error prone" minimum wage workers, where are they going to go? I tell you where,... to the next available unemployment office. And we're talking hundreds of thousands not just a few. And who's going to pay for their unemployment? You. And I. And the rest of the country. [...] Why some companies would want to change that, baffles me.

I'm afraid you have a very naive view of business evolution and social progress.  Where did all the telegraph editors go?  Where did all the check writers go?  Where did all the cobblers go?  Where did all the soda jerks go?  Where did all the elevator attendants go?  Where did all the milkmen go?  Where did all the travel agents go?  Where did all the switchboard operators go?  These are all jobs that have been taken over by machines or machine-based automation over the years.  Are you in grievance for all these workers too or do you simply acknowledge that in replacing them, society has moved forward and they have moved on to other jobs?  Declaring that "I won't do business" with a pizza joint if they don't want a human to take my order makes as much (or as little) sense as "I won't do business" with Coca-Cola because they expect me to tell a vending machine that I want a soda.  With that kind of attitude, you're going to run out of things to buy in this country.


Offline November

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #51 on: January 30, 2009, 12:18:31 AM »
I don't think there's anything more substantial to good customer service than the human interaction.

Yes, but that's just a self-evident statement.  There's nothing more substantial to ordering than getting what you ordered.  That's just good business.

Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #52 on: January 30, 2009, 01:46:36 AM »
RN,

It is clear to me, that you and I come from different directions.

I'm a business guy, you're a science guy. Naturally, we think differently. But insulting my intelligence goes a little too far.

Quote
I'm afraid you have a very naive view of business evolution and social progress.

I'm thankful for all the help and info you have provided me with during the re-building of the LBE. It has dawned on me, though, that you must have forgotten that you are dealing with regular folks here on this board, and not with people you are used to.

But don't you dare and call me a naive, and basically stupid, businessman. Did I make myself clear ?!

« Last Edit: January 30, 2009, 01:50:00 AM by Essen1 »
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

Offline November

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #53 on: January 30, 2009, 01:58:34 AM »
Mike,

Naive and stupid do not have the same meanings.  Naive generally means innocent thinking.  I did not call you stupid, and twisting my words around instead of confronting the facts doesn't help anyone, least of all yourself.  FYI, I have worked for Fortune 500 companies and I own a business now.  I certainly have a great deal of business experience to draw upon.

- red.november
« Last Edit: January 30, 2009, 02:00:53 AM by November »

Offline petef

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #54 on: January 30, 2009, 05:59:17 AM »
I will reopen this thread. Av now says he is a consultant for 800 PBX and meant no harm or deception. I will leave it to the membership to draw their own conclusions about messages like this one:

Yeah, thanks for pointing that out.
Regardless of the intentions of the original post, this has been an interesting thread.
It contains some valuable information for anyone considering using an automated
ordering system for pizza. If anything, it alerts all pizza operators of the possibility
of LOSING BUSINESS if adopting an automated ordering system if it is not very
carefully designed.

---pete---

Offline petef

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #55 on: January 30, 2009, 06:20:17 AM »
  Declaring that "I won't do business" with a pizza joint if they don't want a human to take my order makes as much (or as little) sense as "I won't do business" with Coca-Cola because they expect me to tell a vending machine that I want a soda.  With that kind of attitude, you're going to run out of things to buy in this country.

Another point to consider is from the business owner's point of view. I operate a home
based business and rely upon an automated answering system to take calls of potential
customers and my regular customers while I'm out on service calls. I have found that
customers who use my automated system to either obtain info about my fees and
services or to leave a message about their problem, are generally my best customers
and enjoyable to work with. I'm perfectly comfortable with passing up on customers
who will not talk to my machine. If I had to hire a full time human answering service,
I'd need to raise my rates. I' d rather offer low rates for my good customers than
try to satisfy everyone and have to raise my rates.

In other words, an automated system could posssibly serve to filter out difficult
customers. It all depends upon how selective you want to be for your particular
business. If you make the best pizza on the east coast, I think you can fully
automate your ordering process and the customers will adapt to it, but if you
are just the average pizza shop, I doubt that you could afford to lose any
customers by adopting a fully automated ordering system.

---pete---
« Last Edit: January 30, 2009, 06:22:48 AM by petef »

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #56 on: January 30, 2009, 01:48:24 PM »
Another point to consider is from the business owner's point of view. I operate a home
based business and rely upon an automated answering system to take calls of potential
customers and my regular customers while I'm out on service calls. I have found that
customers who use my automated system to either obtain info about my fees and
services or to leave a message about their problem, are generally my best customers
and enjoyable to work with. I'm perfectly comfortable with passing up on customers
who will not talk to my machine. If I had to hire a full time human answering service,
I'd need to raise my rates. I' d rather offer low rates for my good customers than
try to satisfy everyone and have to raise my rates.

In other words, an automated system could posssibly serve to filter out difficult
customers. It all depends upon how selective you want to be for your particular
business. If you make the best pizza on the east coast, I think you can fully
automate your ordering process and the customers will adapt to it, but if you
are just the average pizza shop, I doubt that you could afford to lose any
customers by adopting a fully automated ordering system.

---pete---


I'm certainly glad to hear that you have enough business so that you are comfortable losing potential customers.
I also think that it's sad that you would label me "difficult" just because I would rather speak to you than a machine.
You own a "service" business?  Seems it's service on your terms, not your customers.... which, I have found after years in a full-service deli (where we took MANY phone orders each day), generally makes for poor customer service.

Mike,
I think you should give up trying to get red.november to admit that he understands the point because, in reality, he does understand it.  JMHO.

~sd aka mots
Never trust a skinny cook!

Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #57 on: January 30, 2009, 02:20:16 PM »
I'm certainly glad to hear that you have enough business so that you are comfortable losing potential customers.
I also think that it's sad that you would label me "difficult" just because I would rather speak to you than a machine.
You own a "service" business?  Seems it's service on your terms, not your customers.... which, I have found after years in a full-service deli (where we took MANY phone orders each day), generally makes for poor customer service.

SDG,

LOL - good comments. I have had people call me back from service businesses 6 months later which I always assumed meant they had no business at the moment and deemed me a worthy customer now. Just happened recently with a WFO builder.

In my past businesses I considered it a failure if I did not get back to customers within a few minutes and only used an answering machine during off hours! Customers were turned away only if they did not want to pay the going rate for services.

PNW

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #58 on: January 30, 2009, 09:18:47 PM »
Thanks PNW

I've never understood why any service business owner would willingly... and happily!... say they don't need more customers!  The customer base that a business owner has may, at any time, evaporate due to lost jobs, moving away and other forms of attrition.  Unless you sell absolute necessities (food, electricity, water etc) your business is not immune to the down-turning economy.  When jobs are lost, people drag out the vacuum cleaner or rent rug doctors rather than call the carpet cleaning company.  Off hours?  Understandable, but installing a system so that you don't have to talk to your customers (who are your boss and your life-blood) during business hours makes no sense to me.

I pick and choose with whom I will do business.  If there's an IVR installed, I move on to the next entry in the yellow pages.  If a business owner lacks a desire to speak to his customers, it gives me the impression his customer service must be lacking as well.

~sd
Never trust a skinny cook!


Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #59 on: January 30, 2009, 11:04:20 PM »
RN,

We both have obviously a different interpretation of the term "naive".

However, just because you and I disagree on a certain subject or issue is no reason to disrespect me, nor to suggest I'm not familiar with the evolution of business or business matters in general. I hold a Business Management degree and finished top of my class, just so you know. I'm not an idiot when it comes to business matters. 

I'm always up for a good and healthy discussion on a topic, but it's a waste of time if you feel that you have to 'win' an argument at all costs, by resorting to insults. A man of and with your intellect and education should know better.

I really don't care which companies you've worked for, whether they were in the top 500 or in the low 20's, I just don't like your condescending attitude you display on occasion.

With that said, I hope your current business will flourish, with or without an IVR.
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

Offline petef

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #60 on: January 30, 2009, 11:31:54 PM »
I also think that it's sad that you would label me "difficult" just because I would rather speak to you than a machine.

I was not directing my comments at you, but
I can now see how sensitive you are.
You might be a hard customer to please.
That's exactly my point.

---pete---

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #61 on: January 30, 2009, 11:37:41 PM »
I was not directing my comments at you, but
I can now see how sensitive you are.
You might be a hard customer to please.
That's exactly my point.

---pete---


Nope, you've got it wrong... I'm not hard to please at all.... just TALK to me and don't make me talk to a machine!
Sensitive?  Only when business owners think they can put me off to a machine because they don't care if they get my business.
Restaurant customers talk with their feet.... I talk with my fingers on the keypad.  That's not sensitivity, that's business.

~sd
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Offline petef

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #62 on: January 30, 2009, 11:55:17 PM »
I've never understood why any service business owner would willingly... and happily!... say they don't need more customers! 

Most service businesses won't say they don't need more customers, but they
would probably love to have a way to avoid customers who are difficult to
deal with because they can be more trouble than they are worth. For example,
customers that bounce checks, ones that don't keep appointments, people that
are too demanding or untrusting, chronic complainers, people looking to pay
less than the standard rates, people who never pickup their property after
it's been repaired, and so on. I'm talking about service businesses in general
and not just food services. A single "undesirable" customer could cost the
honest business owner thousands of dollars.

sourdough,
I had mentioned how my automated answering service partially serves
to filter out some undesirable customers, but please understand that my
comments were not directed at you becasue my business is so different
from a pizza/food service business and I took your commnets as being
were aimed towards a food ordering service.

---pete---


Offline petef

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #63 on: January 31, 2009, 12:04:06 AM »
Nope, you've got it wrong... I'm not hard to please at all.... just TALK to me and don't make me talk to a machine!

Ok, that sounds reasonable. :)
If you read my previous posts carefully you will see that I'm very concerned about
the customer who does not want to talk to a machine and I had suggested that
the opening menu of an automated pizza system offer an option to speak to a
 human.

Like this...

Hello, thank you for calling ABC Pizza.
Press 1 to place an order or speak to Joe.
Press 2 to order using the automated sytem and receive a $1 discount.

Would that be acceptable to you?

---pete---





Offline November

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #64 on: January 31, 2009, 03:12:32 AM »
Mike,

I don't care what you think naive means; I don't care if you think redefining the term provides you with a straw man argument; and I don't care if you think I'm trying to win anything here.  I also don't care if either of us has the business pedigree of the century.  I don't hang my hat on pedigree when it comes to knowledge.  I either know something or I don't.  I'm either provably right or I'm provably wrong.  You haven't said the first thing to prove that the view I call naive isn't naive, so whether I point out that it's naive or just point out that it's just plain wrong based on present and historical facts, you have yet to deal with the substance of my post.  So as to clear your conscience and release you from the oppression of that specific adjective, substitute the term "incorrect" where it currently reads "naive" and deal with the content of the post.  In fact, if you still aren't able to deal with a sentence that describes your view of business and society, alert a moderator to have that sentence stricken and respond to the twelve sentences that follow.  While you're at it, you can try explaining the following:

And who's going to pay for their unemployment? You. And I. And the rest of the country.

How about the businesses are going to pay for their unemployment?  Since when does the average taxpayer pay for unemployment insurance?  The last time I checked businesses have been paying unemployment taxes to the state and federal governments since the Great Depression.  In fact, the main reason businesses were made to start paying unemployment taxes was to guard against this very thing where changes in society are too sudden for businesses to deal with.

- red.november

Offline Essen1

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #65 on: January 31, 2009, 11:01:27 AM »
Quote
How about the businesses are going to pay for their unemployment?

RN,

You are correct, when saying that employers pay the tax:

"The Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), with state unemployment systems, provides for payments of unemployment compensation to workers who have lost their jobs. Most employers pay both a Federal and a state unemployment tax."


As a business owner however, you'd have that unnecessary burden if you were to replace parts of your workforce with an IVR, wouldn't you agree?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 11:17:17 AM by Essen1 »
Mike

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."  - Albert Einstein

Offline November

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #66 on: January 31, 2009, 12:17:19 PM »
As a business owner however, you'd have that unnecessary burden if you were to replace parts of your workforce with an IVR, wouldn't you agree?

No, you would not.  Taxes are paid as a percentage of taxable wages.


Offline November

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #67 on: January 31, 2009, 12:20:07 PM »
Mike,

Here is more information to chew on that others might also find interesting.  According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average unemployment rate during the ten years prior to the invention of voice mail (1969-1978) was 5.98%.  That period was also just before the introduction of the Automated Coin Toll System which replaced lots of telephone operators.  The average unemployment rate during the past ten years (1999-2008) was 5.03%.  Is there a valid correlation to be made here?  Absolutely not.  Even if you tried to make a correlation, it wouldn't look good for the argument that machines replacing humans have much of a negative effect on employment.

- red.november

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #68 on: January 31, 2009, 03:44:24 PM »
petef,

First of all, let me use the old high school mathematics proof to explain my "sensitivity":
If a = b and b= c, then a = c.
I stated that I won't use an IVR, I hang up instead.
You stated that an IVR can filter out customers who are "difficult" because they won't use it.
Therefore, I am labeled a "difficult" customer before we have even spoken one word.
If word got out that you were using this system to profile customers before you even speak to them, you might find your business dwindling.  Word of mouth is powerful advertising, both pro and con.

Ok, that sounds reasonable. :)
If you read my previous posts carefully you will see that I'm very concerned about
the customer who does not want to talk to a machine and I had suggested that
the opening menu of an automated pizza system offer an option to speak to a
 human.

Like this...

Hello, thank you for calling ABC Pizza.
Press 1 to place an order or speak to Joe.
Press 2 to order using the automated sytem and receive a $1 discount.

Would that be acceptable to you?

---pete---

Your scenario seems reasonable, but I would even add: "Thanks for calling ABC pizza!  You've caught me at a busy time, so please press 1 to speak to one of us or press 2 to use the automated voice system."  That adds a more personal touch that hopefully won't turn off customers like me.

Have you considered that, by using your system to filter out supposed (but unproven!) "unwanted" types, you are keeping your business from growing and realizing its full potential?  Wouldn't it be nice if you could become SO busy (by giving your customers the personal touch of talking to YOU!) that you actually had to HIRE some of the unfortunates who have been downsized from their jobs and are on unemployment?  Do you think Bill Gates ever said "Oh, we don't want any more customers... let's just turn our backs on some of them so they will go away and not bother us!"?

Most service businesses won't say they don't need more customers, but they
would probably love to have a way to avoid customers who are difficult to
deal with because they can be more trouble than they are worth. For example,
customers that bounce checks, ones that don't keep appointments, people that
are too demanding or untrusting, chronic complainers, people looking to pay
less than the standard rates, people who never pickup their property after
it's been repaired, and so on. I'm talking about service businesses in general
and not just food services. A single "undesirable" customer could cost the
honest business owner thousands of dollars.

---pete---

I guess I don't understand how installing an IVR is going to screen out customers who do all of the above.  Your system has screened ME out and I am none of the above!  Just because someone wants the personal touch and won't talk to an IVR doesn't make them a grouchy ass who bounces checks.  There is no way to screen out those customers because you don't know they are "those customers" until they prove it down the road.  So, my point is, I think your "reason" to install an IVR is really an excuse.  Rather than screening your customers, it screens YOU from my money.  You are showing me your level of dedication to customer service with the first phone call: Zip, because you don't want to or feel the need to talk to me at the very beginning.  That's the impression that IVRs give me and it is the reason I hang up.

As for the pizza industry, I'm sure if I called Papa John's right now, an employee would answer the phone.  If anyone could afford (and not just monetarily) to install an IVR, it would be them.  So, why haven't they?  I'm guessing part of the reason is because they want EVERY potential customer and don't want to make a bad impression on ANY potential customers.

And, from my perspective (potential customer), it really doesn't matter what industry you are in... food service or laundry service... it's all CUSTOMER service.  When I asked why I would want to order food from anyone who doesn't want to talk to me, that question could apply to anyone selling me a good or service.  If you don't want to talk to me, why would I want to give you my hard-earned money?  And, if you are SO busy that you can't answer the phone yourself, then you need to hire one of those jobless unfortunates, not an expensive answering service, to do it for you.

JMHO.

~sd

ETA:  I guess judging people or businesses based on IVRs works both ways, doesn't it?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 06:18:05 PM by sourdough girl »
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Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #69 on: January 31, 2009, 04:05:34 PM »
No, you would not.  Taxes are paid as a percentage of taxable wages.

red.november,  I guess I need some clarification on this....

If there is no financial burden on the employer when workers file for UI, why do companies fight the system to keep from paying UI to the former employee?  This actually happened to me and I had to fight to get the employer to pay my UI.  I prevailed, but felt the fight was unnecessary because I was entitled to the benefit from the git-go.  If it makes no difference to them financially, why do they fight it?

~sd
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Offline Pizza_Not_War

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #70 on: January 31, 2009, 06:32:08 PM »
If there is no financial burden on the employer when workers file for UI, why do companies fight the system to keep from paying UI to the former employee?  This actually happened to me and I had to fight to get the employer to pay my UI.  I prevailed, but felt the fight was unnecessary because I was entitled to the benefit from the git-go.  If it makes no difference to them financially, why do they fight it?
SD

I will put my old accounting hat on and help you out. An employer usually pays State & Federal Unemployment Insurance. For the federal you take a credit of what you paid to the state and this drastically reduces the amount paid to the fed. I don't remember if all states have UI, but I would think so.

Basically an employer has an account with the state and your contributions are added in minus the amount paid out to ex employees who collect from the fund. Your tax (insurance) rate is based upon a formula taking those numbers into account and the more money taken out the higher rate you pay in. At some point you max out on the rate and the excess comes from the pool of funds. In a bad economy that pool gets drained rapidly.

That's why employers fight like the devil to not pay out money.

PNW

Offline November

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #71 on: January 31, 2009, 08:23:08 PM »
This actually happened to me and I had to fight to get the employer to pay my UI.

Probably because you weren't being replaced with a machine.

It definitely helps to be an accountant, a lawyer, or even both when examining tax laws and unemployment insurance fee structures.  It could be simply understood that insurance is insurance in any context, and everybody likes to avoid claims whenever possible for fear of higher premiums.  PNW summarized it fine, but more specific to this discussion there would really only be an unnecessary burden if one employee was being replaced by another employee.  That's why I said taxes are paid as a percentage of taxable wages.  Machines aren't paid wages, so even if an employer had to pay a higher premium rate (which I don't think is guaranteed to always happen), this would be more than generously offset by the reduction in total wages paid, thereby reducing the contributions paid to the state.

This begs the broader point concerning employment in a technologically advanced society.  Machines don't get paid.  People get paid.  Until the day comes when all the money in the world mysteriously disappears, there will always be something for people to get paid for.  That's why the unemployment rate does not increase proportionally with technological advancement.

- red.november

EDIT: Of course your employer could have also just been greedy.  Employers, like employees, will always try to find ways to pay less to the government, but that doesn't always mean it's a burden otherwise.  I don't know your employer's circumstances.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2009, 09:03:50 PM by November »

Offline sourdough girl

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #72 on: January 31, 2009, 09:48:13 PM »
PNW,
Thank you for putting that hat back on!  I understand better now why I had to fight every step of the way... both with UI and also with L&I.  I think they both know that you are already stressed out (and in pain) and hope that you will just cave in and say "whatever".  Not this girl!

red.november,
I understand your argument better now, especially concerning the replacement of humans with machines.  However, I also see Mike's points and, since he owns and runs a retail business, I think his points are also valid.

Humans have been, as you have pointed out, replaced by machines for centuries, but I'm not convinced that disconnecting us even further is necessarily a good thing.  I guess it just comes down to personal preference:  If you don't feel uncomfortable doing business with someone who represents themselves with a machine, fine.  If you do, move on to the next business owner who doesn't.  In the final picture, they will all still do business and cater to the people who are comfortable with their MO.  Being of the "certain age" generation, I prefer not to deal with mechanized "human" interaction.  But I'm sure that the younger generation think nothing of it and, since their prefered method of communication is texting, all human face to face communication will soon (but hopefully not in my lifetime!) disappear.  There's an old show, I believe it was Star Trek, where all the inhabitants of a planet are disembodied brains in glass jars, communicating with each other... is that where we're headed?

~sd
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Offline November

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #73 on: January 31, 2009, 10:21:23 PM »
SD,

I wish I had more time to explain this right now (I'm already late for a human gathering), because anthropology is one of my favorite fields of interest.  It's actually a discipline I apply to some of the work I do in CI.  If you want to know more about that though I'll discuss it in private.  You could reduce this discussion to equations like you did with petef.  What it really comes down to is the differences between humans and machines.  Applying boolean logic for the moment, if humans (A) aren't machines, and machines (B) aren't humans, B can't do what A does.  However, applying fuzzy logic (logic of reality), if machines can do 10% of what humans can do, you can say that they are 10% human.  Likewise you can then say humans are 10% machine because of what they have in common.  So when interacting with humans, you have to ask yourself, am I interacting with the 10% of the human that is machine, or am I interacting with the 90% that is purely human.  If a machine can completely take over the role of a human, i.e. pass the Turing test, one has no basis for saying that humans would perform any differently.  That's why I keep raising the point that order taking is not the same as customer service.  Order taking only fulfills the 10% of the human that represents machine qualities.  If a machine can do it as well as a human, you shouldn't be able to tell, much less care about the difference.  I believe that was petef point when talking about implementing the system so as to avoid losing customers.  I don't believe IVRs pass the Turing test for the skill they employ, so they do not offer adequate human replacement.  I expect that to change, but that is not today's reality.

- red.november

Offline petef

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Re: Pizza IVR Telephone Orders
« Reply #74 on: February 01, 2009, 03:06:28 AM »
Have you considered that, by using your system to filter out supposed (but unproven!) "unwanted" types, you are keeping your business from growing and realizing its full potential?  Wouldn't it be nice if you could become SO busy (by giving your customers the personal touch of talking to YOU!) that you actually had to HIRE some of the unfortunates who have been downsized from their jobs and are on unemployment?

Yes, I have considred that, but my goal is not to grow a large business with employees.
I'm not even striving to make large sums of money. My goal is to charge very reasonable
rates and provide superior service as compared to my competitors. I don't need a huge
number of customers to survive because I don't need much money to keep myself happy
and I don't want to work long hours. What this all boils down to is an ability to select
the nicest people to work for. From there, it boils down to freedom and happiness.

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I guess I don't understand how installing an IVR is going to screen out customers who do all of the above.  Your system has screened ME out and I am none of the above!

Ok, first off, I never said that an IVR system would effectively screen out "all the above".
When I listed all those negative customer traits, I was answering your question about
why any business might want to turn away certain kinds of customers.

You stated that my system screened you out. Well, judging by all the things you've
said in this thread to me and others, your personality is shining through. I'd now
classify you as one of those customers who would be hard to please. :)

So.. NO PIZZA FOR YOU! YOU ARE BANNED 1 YEAR! (Pizza Nazi)
Hehehe. Just kidding, Sourdough Girl. :)


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And, from my perspective (potential customer), it really doesn't matter what industry you are in... food service or laundry service... it's all CUSTOMER service.  When I asked why I would want to order food from anyone who doesn't want to talk to me, that question could apply to anyone selling me a good or service.

All the above is true, but in reference to IVR systmes, it's not that simple because
the nature of some service businesses allows them to use IVR systems effectively.

For example, using an IVR system to place custom orders for pizza is a very bad
idea because of all the key presses or voice commands that would be required
and for the potential problems that could occur during that long tedious process.

On the other hand, using an IVR system to handle a plumber's customer calls
could be quite effective. Customers could call the IVR system to get some
general prices of services offered and the ability to leave their name
and phone number so the the plumber can call them back.

A large corporation with millions of customers could effectivley use an IVR
system to handle routine calls which would benefit the customer by keeping
the costs down. One example of this is a credit card company that utilizes
an IVR system to validate the customer's identity and provide information
about the account.

Bottome line, the use of IVR systems for customer service is a complex
issue depending upon the type of business and the kind of service being
provided.

---pete---
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 04:08:40 AM by petef »


 

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