Being put on hold when calling customer service sucks! It’s disrepectful of your time and often it is entirely unnecessary. A decade back, prognosticators were predicting that Internet services such as Chat, FAQs and Call Back were going to eliminate being “held up” by customer service. It’s time to put the prognosticators on hold, because we are still being held up. No doubt, you’ve tried pressing the zero button whenever you get a interactive voice responsive robo-attendant (IVR). But that technique doesn’t necessary get you a real person.
Google Duplex, a new component in Google Assistant, may be of particular use in the near future. Using AI technology, Duplex enables Google Assistant to make a call for you and schedule an appointment or arrange for a call back from a business. Duplex is available on most Android phones (and even a few iOS ones). Large retailers are currently configuring their IVRs to accept Google Assistant calls using the Duplex technology. Duplex could be a game-changer. In the meantime, there are some handy free apps that will help you avoid the Hold monster.
Fast Customer – is a mobile app that has developed a database of over 3,000 companies. If you call any of these companies, you can bypass the robo-attendant and get directly to an agent. Alternatively, you can use the app to request a call from the company. Nice….and fast!
Get Human – is a web-based application accessible by your PC. You type in the name of the company you need to contact and it will tell you the service number to call, along with the average wait time. Most importantly, it gives you the sequence of numbers that will get you directly to an agent, so that you can minimize the IVR hell.
SERVUL – This Israel-based service takes a slightly different approach. It is web-based as well as an app. However, it’s list of retailers is fairly limited and may be useful if Fast Customer and/or Get Human aren’t working for you.
The bad news is that none of these services can help you with the IRS. If you need to call that government agency then…..well, there’s no avoiding Hold Hell. But they do help with H&R Block and Intuit, if that’s any consolation.