IVRs – The Most Annoying Invention… Ever: 2000 Consumers Press 1 for Yes

Do we think 10,000 watt bass amplifiers, pantyhose (so I’m told) or parking meters are annoying? Sure. However, according to the Discovery Channel’s new program How We Invented the World, out of 2000 adults surveyed, automated switchboards (IVRs) rated #1 as the most annoying invention of all time.

Press 1 for English, press 4 for billing, press 17 for a real human being; we’ve all been there and we understand.  How many of us have grown so weary of causing physiological damage to our thumbs that we rolled the dice hoping against hope to get a warm body by pressing 9 or 0?  And, if lady luck frowned on you; how many of us said “screw it” and hung up.  I know I’ve done it, and I’m not alone.

Discovering IVRs, the beloved panacea for all your Contact Center woes, are so despised, is not all that shocking.  In the light-speed fast, “I want it now” and media rich lives consumers lead today it is not a surprise at all.  No, saying that it is the most annoying invention of all time is a wake-up call of biblical proportions.

To have your customer- the engine of your business, say IVRs are the worst inventions ever, demands maximum innovation in the Contact Center space; revisiting your own IVR at the very least.  It’s time to have that feared and dreaded conference on the mound and discuss major changes.  It’s definitely time to sit down and very thoroughly discuss strategic and operational optimization.

As your tired heads hit the pillow tonight, repeat this, over and over, like a mantra. “I will listen to the voice of the customer.”

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