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(The Week)   Call centers use artificial empathy program to determine a caller's mood and personality, enabling cable companies to tell whether a customer is angry, furious or just irate   (theweek.com) divider line 77
    More: Spiffy, cable company, artificial intelligences, deep dive, data mining  
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2747 clicks; posted to Main » on 16 Jan 2014 at 10:13 AM (27 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-16 10:14:11 AM
Here, lemmie help you with that.....

iconicphotos.files.wordpress.com
 
2014-01-16 10:17:40 AM
That's why I use DirecTV. I don't want my dad to get punched over a can of soup
 
2014-01-16 10:19:13 AM
Guess they just ignore what it tells them then.  Spent three days this past week trying to get my internet working and Comcast tech support is horrible.  Finally got a guy Tuesday night that knew his stuff and was up and running in 20 minutes.  The previous support agent had great gems like "try another plug for my modem that is lit up and getting power"... I wanted to hit that one.
 
2014-01-16 10:19:21 AM
*...*..*****!!!??!!
 
2014-01-16 10:19:25 AM
This is not news at all. It's been around for awhile, and actually benefits the consumer.

/call center manager
 
2014-01-16 10:20:28 AM
"Then, when you are finally connected to a sales representative or customer service professional, Mattersight takes its analysis of your personality, compares it to the personality profiles of the call center employees that it has on file, and automatically connects you with the service agent that you are most compatible with."

And the best match for me is some guy in the Phillipines with the thickest accent EBER!
 
2014-01-16 10:23:16 AM

bopis: "Then, when you are finally connected to a sales representative or customer service professional, Mattersight takes its analysis of your personality, compares it to the personality profiles of the call center employees that it has on file, and automatically connects you with the service agent that you are most compatible with."

And the best match for me is some guy in the Phillipines with the thickest accent EBER!


I'll see your Philippines and raise you a Bangladesh.
 
2014-01-16 10:23:18 AM

bopis: "Then, when you are finally connected to a sales representative or customer service professional, Mattersight takes its analysis of your personality, compares it to the personality profiles of the call center employees that it has on file, and automatically connects you with the service agent that you are most compatible with."

And the best match for me is some guy in the Phillipines with the thickest accent EBER!


Think of the other alternatives! This ain't match.com, honey.
 
2014-01-16 10:23:30 AM

bopis: "Then, when you are finally connected to a sales representative or customer service professional, Mattersight takes its analysis of your personality, compares it to the personality profiles of the call center employees that it has on file, and automatically connects you with the service agent that you are most compatible with."

And the best match for me is some guy in the Phillipines with the thickest accent EBER!


I bet there is one rep who is just really good and winds up being a good match for most people. So when you don't get her/him they shunt you off to the "two years of English in high school" guy who gets 6 cents an hour.
 
2014-01-16 10:24:17 AM

Pangit: This is not news at all. It's been around for awhile, and actually benefits the consumer.

/call center manager


Jesus h Christ, I would sooner admit to being a pedophile. Jk.
/Sort of.
 
2014-01-16 10:24:31 AM
If I wasn't furious when I called, it's likely I am by the time I wind my way through the automated system, then sit on hold forever only to have to repeat all the information over again,
 
2014-01-16 10:24:54 AM
It probably doesn't do much good if they get your Weenerss and then put you on hold for 20 minutes or more.
I can go from calm happy through frustrated, annoyed, and irate by the time I actually get to talk to somebody after hearing that hold music forever.

Then when you do get somebody, if it is a recurring problem they seem to have zero notes on the last 5 times you called about the same issue, and give you the same solution to the problem that has been proven over and over to NOT WORK.

/Looking at you Century Link
//No, I have no idea how I get billed for last call return when it is activated by a phone 5 miles from here, that's why I'm calling you.
///FIX YO shiat!
 
2014-01-16 10:24:57 AM
I like to just randomly hit buttons until the prompter just says, "Now transferring you to an agent..."
 
2014-01-16 10:27:38 AM
Hrm. Filterpwned. Kinda funny really.
 
2014-01-16 10:28:02 AM
If you want to hear more about our other products press 8.
If you would like to hear these options again press 9.
If you are calling about a high-pitched buzzing noise press 1.
If you are calling about a low-pitched buzzing noise press 2.
 
2014-01-16 10:28:39 AM
I'm especially fond of the automated caller ID, you confirm "yep, that's me and this is where I have the problem" and EVERY SINGLE fakrING PERSON you get transferred to after that asks for the same info.
 
2014-01-16 10:29:05 AM

pkellmey: I like to just randomly hit buttons until the prompter just says, "Now transferring you to an agent..."


Some of them will just hang up on you.
 
2014-01-16 10:31:39 AM
I probably always sound irked when I'm dealing with the automated system because if I'm calling I need an agent, it's not something their automated system is going to be able to fix yet it makes you go through all the hoops first just to get to someone. And the ones that, when you hit the zero button, say "before you talk to an agent I need some information first" really REALLY irk me...and I can be pretty rude to the automated folks, but I try and be a lot nicer when I get an actual person on the phone.
 
2014-01-16 10:36:23 AM
Phone sex lines have been using that for years.

When I founded Kiss-a-Nerd-Electronically, training fellow IT colleagues to recognize emotion required a color coded board that the AI software lit up so the phone worker would know which script to read from.

Both Homeland Security and the Daily Show borrowed this idea.

www.365discoveries.com
 
2014-01-16 10:36:59 AM
Some better on hold music would go a long way.

Listening to synthesized covers of 1970s soft rock makes me stabby.
 
2014-01-16 10:37:19 AM
I have heard that some voice-response systems detect swear words and will immediately route you to a representative if you use them.

Try it if you'd like. YMMV.
 
2014-01-16 10:44:26 AM

miss diminutive: Some better on hold music would go a long way.

Listening to synthesized covers of 1970s soft rock makes me stabby.


The one I sat on hold with the other day was a loop of some shiatty elevator music, and every 20 seconds it would be interrupted by a recording message about how they couldn't wait to help me or some crap.  It made me pretty stabby too.  It would have been better to just let the music play and stop lying to me!
 
2014-01-16 10:45:03 AM
I find using the web chat support features from providers infinitely more useful. Saves you from the dreaded on-hold for ages while waiting for "the next available agent"

Also, it helps that you have all the information ready to go: Account name, zipcode, address, erc. and your symptoms.

Bonus if you have done a bit of troubleshooting first in a text file ready to copy/paste right in the chat window, listing the obvious steps you have taken (power cycle/reboot, status of DSL modem's LED indicators, DSL router logs, pings, tracerts, etc). If the service provider is smart, they can transfer to a tier2 right away and save you a boatload of time. Makes their response measurements look good for their manager!

All the steps you have taken are already in the chat records so they won't keep asking you over and over about "have you tried powering off/on?"

It helps that I manage a tier2 tech support team!
 
2014-01-16 10:46:20 AM

Fizpez: I'm especially fond of the automated caller ID, you confirm "yep, that's me and this is where I have the problem" and EVERY SINGLE fakrING PERSON you get transferred to after that asks for the same info.


That's only good when you're about to go through a surgical procedure.  Had one done a few years ago, and everybody from the receptionist to the anesthesiologist asked me repeatedly who I was, and what my diagnosis had been.
 
2014-01-16 10:50:21 AM
Describe in single words only the good things that come to mind about ... your mother.
 
2014-01-16 10:51:42 AM
upload.wikimedia.org

Fascinating.
 
2014-01-16 10:52:08 AM
It's not always the case for customer service but, anyone in a call center should use the tech support rule.  If they're calling you, they're probably already pissed off about something.
 
2014-01-16 10:54:28 AM
img.fark.net
 
2014-01-16 10:56:53 AM

Pangit: This is not news at all. It's been around for awhile, and actually benefits the consumer.

/call center manager


That's fine, except it';s obviously not monitoring me during the farking men navigation, or it would completely skip the menu navigation and send me a free car or something... I get especially frustrated during the voice operated menus. God, THOSE things farking suck.

As for the call, it would be fine if they used this, but when I tell the service rep from the beginning what I have done, and they go through the stupid script anyway. It wastes half an hour when I do everything I know how, call, tell them this, and they walk me through step by step.
 
2014-01-16 10:57:29 AM

bopis: "Then, when you are finally connected to a sales representative or customer service professional, Mattersight takes its analysis of your personality, compares it to the personality profiles of the call center employees that it has on file, and automatically connects you with the service agent that you are most compatible with."

And the best match for me is some guy in the Phillipines with the thickest accent EBER!


But he says his name is Jerry and he's located in Minnesota...
 
2014-01-16 10:57:55 AM

SquiggsIN: It's not always the case for customer service but, anyone in a call center should use the tech support rule.  If they're calling you, they're probably already pissed off about something.


I used to do tech support in a call center years ago and I found that people really wanted to know they were being heard more than anything. Even if I couldn't fix their issue if they knew I heard them and understood they'd still get off the call happy enough and grateful someone actually listened.
 
2014-01-16 11:14:05 AM
As a Tier IV tech support rep at a major ISP (one of the top 5 in the country), I can only say that if I were still customer facing, I would pray daily for this software. Instead, in my current role, I spend my days empathizing with our customers as I have to back check every single rep who calls in provisioning/structure loading etc, because I can't trust them to have done the work.  No wonder when ever I get stuck on a Q&A rotation all I hear are angry customers.
 
2014-01-16 11:15:03 AM
I just need a thread where people who know shiat list all the secret: "Here's how you get to talk to the tier 2 guys straight away without telling "Bob" from NewDelhi that you know WAY more about computers than he ever will and you still have a problem that is going to require the input of someone who actually know something about computers/cable/ and the internet."

csb time

The best, straight to where I needed to go, customer service I have ever had was with our gas company (Dominion Gas - Ohio).  We added an addition to the house with another furnace and needed to upgrade something... the plumbers/HVAC guys were sure.

I call CS, the first person I talk to has no clue what I'm doing but says, "You probably need to talk to (I think it was) Sharon, Ill transfer you."  After I ramble on for 2 minutes trying to explain what we're doing Sharon says "OK soinds like we need to do an eval on your blueprints and get some distances, I'll send over Mike, please hold..." Mike pops on the line says he's crossing through my city in about 2 hours and will stop by.  2 hours later he's walking through my addition, makes a few measurements, consults a stack of documents and says they need to upgrade to 2 lbs pressure and I need two regulators "here and here" on the blueprints.  He gives the name of the place we can buy them and what to tell the plumbers.

....Meanwhile Time Warner makes me want to on a multi-state shooting spree....

/csb

It is possible to have good customer service, nobody wants to pay for it.
 
2014-01-16 11:18:51 AM

bopis: pkellmey: I like to just randomly hit buttons until the prompter just says, "Now transferring you to an agent..."

Some of them will just hang up on you.


In my experience, it's a very rare case where repeatedly hitting 0 doesn't get you a real person relatively quickly. Screw the automated crap. I don't want to wade through 5 levels of menu with crappy options, none of which actually apply to what I'm calling about. I don't want to have to say things 20 times into the world's crappiest voice recognition software. I want to talk to somebody, explain my problem, and have them either fix it, or route me to somebody who can.
 
2014-01-16 11:21:52 AM
I answer every question with "OPERATOR!"

/ Usually works
 
2014-01-16 11:26:43 AM

abhorrent1: If I wasn't furious when I called, it's likely I am by the time I wind my way through the automated system, then sit on hold forever only to have to repeat all the information over again,


Exactly.  I'm not usually furious when I call in.  I'm usually furious when I hang up.
 
2014-01-16 11:34:12 AM
I called some place 10 minutes before they were closing. Talked with a person who couldn't have been more disintersted in what ever problem I needed fixing. At exactly 5:30 she says "Hey sir...can you hold on for one second?" 'uh sur-*click* *disconnected*. I call back. "Sorry, but our offices are closed. Please call back 7:30 on Monday. Thanks for calling! Bye!"

I had keys in hand, getting ready to go to the garden center for as many bags of ammonium nitrate as they'd let me buy before I realised it *probably* wouldn't help matters.
 
2014-01-16 11:40:24 AM
I worked as a temp in a call center for a number of months.  Soul-shriveling job if there ever was one.  Fortunately we were doing employment verification, not cold calls or tech support, so it could have been worse.  I have the feeling our inbound call team could have used this feature though.

/So glad I never had to take calls, only make them...
//Fifteen minutes of phone tree navigation trying to reach an actual human still haunts my nightmares
 
2014-01-16 11:42:02 AM

Zeeba Neighba: SquiggsIN: It's not always the case for customer service but, anyone in a call center should use the tech support rule.  If they're calling you, they're probably already pissed off about something.

I used to do tech support in a call center years ago and I found that people really wanted to know they were being heard more than anything. Even if I couldn't fix their issue if they knew I heard them and understood they'd still get off the call happy enough and grateful someone actually listened.


Yeah, but did you actually do anything about it?

My fury usually stems from the fact that some f*ckwad manager made a poor decision and they use call center reps as their human shields.

Time Warner being the prime example. I can't find it in me to get angry at Leticia, the single mom who took this shiatty job to support her kids. I want to throat punch Jeffrey Bewkes. I get frustrated that Leticia can't make that happen for me.

/I'll get you one day, Jeffrey Bewkes
 
2014-01-16 11:52:56 AM

Cybernetic: I have heard that some voice-response systems detect swear words and will immediately route you to a representative if you use them.

Try it if you'd like. YMMV.


Works for some of them, but not if you're cussin' in Hebrew, German, or Russian.
/When cussin' works, it works for both Spanish and English naughty words.
//TMYK
///Martherfarking idjits who buy N**nc* speech rec without getting an HCI/linguistics type to customize it? Strung up by the owie dangly bits.
 
2014-01-16 12:04:56 PM

MythDragon: I called some place 10 minutes before they were closing. Talked with a person who couldn't have been more disintersted in what ever problem I needed fixing. At exactly 5:30 she says "Hey sir...can you hold on for one second?" 'uh sur-*click* *disconnected*. I call back. "Sorry, but our offices are closed. Please call back 7:30 on Monday. Thanks for calling! Bye!"

I had keys in hand, getting ready to go to the garden center for as many bags of ammonium nitrate as they'd let me buy before I realised it *probably* wouldn't help matters.


Do you walk into sit-down restaurants ten minutes before closing as well?

I've been there, I hated jack asses that called a few minutes before closing and yes if they had either a lengthly inquiry or did not appreciate that I was going to have to stay late to address them then I'd give them the 'transfer back to queue...good bye!' treatment.

This was unfortunately compounded during my time at HP because they chronically understaffed our department and we'd tend to have 10-15 people in-queue at midnight when we were supposed to close.  The jack ass management tried to insist we respond to everyone, we did that for a day or two of working until 2am and then started firing them back into the auto-closing queue.  We'd been told were all being laid off a few weeks before.

Fark call centers.  Fark them.
 
2014-01-16 12:06:24 PM
I always telephone Call Centers because I'm in a good mood.

/AppleCare has been good to me, though
//the rest of you suck
///looking at you Charte
r
 
2014-01-16 12:09:31 PM

Pangit: This is not news at all. It's been around for awhile, and actually benefits the consumer.

/call center manager


0/10
Stay in thread for further explination.
 
2014-01-16 12:24:13 PM
I used to do tech support at Charter One before they were bought out by RBS. Now here is something that some people may not know: Charter One accounts had a rating on them of either 1-5 stars. How they came up with this rating I am not entirely sure, as there were some people with millions in their account and only 1 star and a lady with 800 in ssi that was 4. Anywho, this is how it worked (paraphrasing heavily):

1-2 stars, no refunds on fees, ever, unless bank error
3 stars, one refund per year, more if approved, unless bank error
4-5 stars, refund everything, no questions asked, more for 5s than 4s, but I'm sure you get the idea

Dealing with people who have lots of money and don't know how to operate online banking is a lot of fun... especially when they do something they don't understand with the bill pay and suddenly money disappears. Rich people are even more fun.
 
2014-01-16 12:25:01 PM
You're not helping, Leon. Why are you not helping?
 
2014-01-16 01:02:11 PM
I am just glad that I have a call center job that has me rarely interacting with customers, just other employees in different locations.

/works for the business side of a major telecom
//only emotion I have is apathy not empathy
 
2014-01-16 01:23:01 PM
Why does anyone need software to tell a cable company that a customer calling in is all three!  Angry, furious AND irate.  Add in "nuclear" if someone's calling Comcast.
 
2014-01-16 01:25:00 PM
The best experience I had was in UK with Tesco car insurance. You would dial in and leave your number and they would call you back. This means I didn't have to stand around with the phone up against my ear listening to hold music for 5-20 minutes. Also I hate HATE it when they inform me I could use their website. Because I assure you when I call you it is as a last resort and I almost certainly got the phone number from your website!.
 
2014-01-16 01:39:30 PM

BumpInTheNight: Do you walk into sit-down restaurants ten minutes before closing as well?


I didn't know they closed at 5:30. It was a pretty big business (I forgot which one) like a bank or insurance company which one would think would at least have extended customer service hours if not 24 hour human support.

And if sit down places close at 10, but they don't want to take customers after 9:30, they should close at 9:30. Or at least put out a sign that says 'If it's after 9:30 and you're just getting here, carry your ass to 7-11 for a hotdog or somesuch.'
 
2014-01-16 01:44:57 PM

NicktheSmoker: Guess they just ignore what it tells them then.  Spent three days this past week trying to get my internet working and Comcast tech support is horrible.  Finally got a guy Tuesday night that knew his stuff and was up and running in 20 minutes.  The previous support agent had great gems like "try another plug for my modem that is lit up and getting power"... I wanted to hit that one.


No, the system worked perfectly. The company being Comcast, however, they deliberately used the results to match you up with the rep you'd *least* like to work with.

Because... Comcast.
 
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