Thank you for your input. I think it all makes perfect sense, especially considering what I was trying to get petef to see. I'm glad you made the distinction between "difficult" and "demanding". "Difficult" is what it is, but "demanding" can be a range of behaviors from innocuous to, well, "difficult" when the demands become unreasonable. I feel that the desire to speak to a human over a machine is rather innocuous.
Having lived 50 years of my life in the previous century, I admit to some fondness for that century and its lack of "technology" in the earlier years of my life. However, I have happily given up typewriters, as one example, and now embrace keyboards and word processing programs. I, as well, enjoy museums and historical sites and marvel at how those people lived, and how they thought they were so much more advanced and better off (with easier lives) than the generations before them.
I agree also with your website solution and use that avenue quite often. I am very computer literate, so if petef offered me the ability to contact him directly, through a website, I would readily use that option over picking up the phone. Actually, I am beginning to dislike the phone altogether for business purposes because it seems to waste my time (being put on hold, IVR menus etc.) more than it saves me time. Last week, I had a small issue with some mp3 downloads from amazon.com so I contacted them through the site... I got an email back from them in less than 15 minutes and the issue was resolved in less than 20 minutes. I wonder how long it might have taken on the phone?
I'm through trying to get you to see my point. I have told you twice that I like to play devil's advocate but you read my posts as... let's see, what names have you called me? Ah... "difficult" "overly sensitive" "emotional" "intolerant".... did I miss any? Seems that you are now becoming the emotional one, probably because you are taking me too seriously.
You must remember that each and every person who reads your posts (or anyone's posts) will filter them through their own past history so that each person will interpret them differently. It appears to ME (others may read it differently) that you profile customers based on YOUR IVR, not IVRs in general. If that's what you want to do, more power to you. It's your life and your business... and I couldn't care less how you run them.
And, BTW, to help your reading comprehension:
"Then in a new paragraph (separate thought), I speak generally about "an automated system" and
how it could *possibly* be used to filter out difficult customers. NOT MY
IVR SYSTEM, but an IVR sytem in general."
When you start a new paragraph with "In other words..."
"In other words, an automated system could posssibly serve to filter out difficult customers."
it is NOT a separate thought but rather a restatement, clarification or distillation of the preceding paragraph(s).