• NutWrench@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    57
    ·
    6 days ago

    The point of modern “customer service” is to NOT provide customer service. If you can drag out the conversation to the point where the caller rage-quits in frustration, then the company can avoid spending any money on fixing any problems they’ve caused.

    • Buttons@programming.dev
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      37
      ·
      6 days ago

      This is how companies that don’t have competition act. This is how most companies act. We need more anti-trust enforcement.

    • hamsterkill@lemmy.sdf.org
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      4
      ·
      6 days ago

      Previous way for companies to cut down on customer support costs was to make a better quality product (making support interactions rarer). That is not so much the philosophy anymore.

    • rottingleaf@lemmy.zip
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      2
      ·
      6 days ago

      It’s also similar to scammers. When you are not quite certain if you’ve been scammed, you’ll first ask. There’s a percentage of cases where you won’t bother for the sum, because you’ve used the energy on pinging them.

      While in case of companies you could have used that energy to, say, post “X is crap” somewhere in the Web.

      • T156@lemmy.world
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        2
        ·
        edit-2
        6 days ago

        Depends on whether scammers will also use a similar AI system to do their job for them. If they do, they might be basically indistinguishable.

  • Asafum@feddit.nl
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    39
    ·
    6 days ago

    “Corporations love the idea of not paying anyone.”

    Would be a more useful headline. It doesn’t matter what consumers want. All that matters to large corporations is what the consumer will bear.

    • Bonskreeskreeskree@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      6
      ·
      6 days ago

      What a consumer will tolerate has nothing to do with it either. If a consumers only choices are all aligned, you’re shit out of luck.

  • Hazzard@lemm.ee
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    36
    ·
    6 days ago

    Storytime! Earlier this year, I had an Amazon package stolen. We had reason to be suspicious, so we immediately contacted the landlord and within six hours we had video footage of a woman biking up to the building, taking our packages, and hurriedly leaving.

    So of course, I go to Amazon and try to report my package as stolen… which traps me for a whole hour in a loop with Amazon’s “chat support” AI, repeatedly insisting that I wait 48 hours “in case my package shows up”. I cannot explain to this thing clearly enough that, no, it’s not showing up, I literally have video evidence of it being stolen that I’m willing to send you. It literally cuts off the conversation once it gives its final “solution” and I have to restart the convo over and over.

    Takes me hours to wrench a damn phone number out of the thing, and a human being actually understands me and sends me a refund within 5 minutes.

    • laranis@lemmy.zip
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      12
      ·
      6 days ago

      My guess is you’re one of the 10% or so who didn’t give up in frustration. My % assumption might be off, but assuming any percentage of people gave up and walked away without costing Amazon a dime the system was working perfectly.

        • Malfeasant@lemmy.world
          cake
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          3
          ·
          6 days ago

          My wife… She will never stop buying from Amazon no matter how shitty they become. She was refusing to go to Wendy’s for a while because they were considering surge pricing, she swore up and down she would not reward a company for doing that - so I said what about Amazon? How often does prime get you free shipping anymore? And with streaming, now you have to watch ads when you didn’t before… But of course that’s all “different”.

    • Fredselfish@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      9
      arrow-down
      1
      ·
      6 days ago

      Dude could save yourself time by just going to contact page and ask for a call. I never use these companies chat features.

      Also I found if I Google customer service numbers regurdless of company than I can get a number to call 85% of the time.

      Of course after that you either got to fight robot to get a human on the phone that 9 times out of 10 will be a person out of India who also acts like a goddamm robot that doesn’t understand English.

      But my biggest pet peeve is a lot of times I have ro get a supervisor to solve a problem that would take the customer service agent ten seconds to solve.

      • UnderpantsWeevil@lemmy.world
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        8
        ·
        6 days ago

        I never use these companies chat features.

        Historically, these chat interfaces were tied out to a call center somewhere on the opposite side of the planet. Now they’re entirely prompt-engineered. So you used to be able to work a claim through chat without sitting on a phone call for hours at a time. But now they obscure their customer support phone number behind six layers of tabs and links, while shoving the “WOULD YOU LIKE TO CHAT WITH A REPRESENTATIVE” button in your face the whole way, fully knowing it doesn’t actually connect to anything that will help.

        But my biggest pet peeve is a lot of times I have ro get a supervisor to solve a problem that would take the customer service agent ten seconds to solve.

        A lot of the agents are just working off of written prompts anyway. But they do get experience with these problems over time (or recognize a slew of the same problem coming in at once) and can cut through the shit to give you a real, human response. Sometimes that response is simply “We can’t help, because of widespread technical / systems issues”, but that’s better than being bounced through an automated service that feeds out generic non-answers and useless how-to guides.

      • Hazzard@lemm.ee
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        2
        ·
        6 days ago

        Ugh, if only. Amazon has done everything in their power to bury and strip that number from the internet. Once upon a time that worked great.

    • UnderpantsWeevil@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      6
      ·
      6 days ago

      So of course, I go to Amazon and try to report my package as stolen… which traps me for a whole hour in a loop with Amazon’s “chat support” AI, repeatedly insisting that I wait 48 hours “in case my package shows up”.

      I tried to change the dates of a car rental through Priceline, a day after I entered the order. I got a message saying “You cannot change this order until 72 hours before your arrival” which I thought was weird. But I bookmarked the date and called as soon as I was inside the window. “Oops! Sorry, you can’t cancel or change the reservation because too much time has passed!” was the automated response.

      Absolute fucking scam. So I submitted a complaint through my credit card company to reject the charges. In this particular case, automation worked in my favor, because AMEX’s dispute process is as opaque and arcane for the vendors as Priceline’s support desk was for its own clients.

      But its increasingly computerized horseshit. Nothing actually fucking works, except the vacuum they hook up to your bank account every time they find an excuse to extract payment.

    • rottingleaf@lemmy.zip
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      4
      ·
      6 days ago

      These things having a clearly visible and usable button to ask for a human should be mandated by law.

      Also have you tried writing “operator” to it? That may work. Sometimes.

  • nman90@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    61
    ·
    7 days ago

    I extremely hate this idea. I I already hate the automated systems that are definitely designed to make you give up just trying to talk to an actual human being. Hopefully, we can get more lawsuits around the world like the Air canada one where they are liable for any bs the ai decides to make up, along with actual laws saying the same. Hopefully, it would discourage them.

  • 𝕸𝖔𝖘𝖘@infosec.pub
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    57
    ·
    7 days ago

    I had the displeasure of being called by one from a vendor. It pissed me off that they couldn’t be bothered to pick up the phone and call using a human, with how much we paid them. I canceled that contract and went with a different vendor, and let the sales team know exactly why. LLMs have their place, but my time is not the waste bin.

      • 𝕸𝖔𝖘𝖘@infosec.pub
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        4
        ·
        7 days ago

        Hahahahaha!! I was sitting there, on the Pick Username screen for a good 5 minutes, singing that song in my head, trying to think of a good username. After a while, I thought to myself, “that’s a good enough username, in done thinking about this”, and sang it out loud as I typed it in… 3

  • BastingChemina@slrpnk.net
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    41
    arrow-down
    3
    ·
    7 days ago

    I think it’s more “Most consumers hate the idea of a bad, unhelpful customer service”.

    I’m fine with AI if it was actually helping to solve my issue, but it is generally not the case.

      • laranis@lemmy.zip
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        5
        ·
        6 days ago

        See: Rufus, Amazon’s chatbot. I’ve never seen a more useless application of electrons. If it isn’t already in the description then it can’t help you.

        If it is already in the description I don’t need your shitty chatbot, Jeffrey.

        • Malfeasant@lemmy.world
          cake
          link
          fedilink
          English
          arrow-up
          2
          ·
          6 days ago

          a more useless application of electrons

          Microsoft is worse… Have a problem, google it, find a link that has a promising summary, click it- “try Windows 11!” Because that’s what dead links do.

  • soulfirethewolf@lemdro.id
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    32
    ·
    7 days ago

    Consumer disapproval of AI use in customer service is unlikely to keep firms from deploying the technology as the cost savings are just too great

    So much for the market determining what goes

    • jj4211@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      7
      ·
      6 days ago

      The market does determine, unfortunately the market is relatively unfazed by subpar customer service. It has to be really bad or a huge legal catastrophe before it moves the needle. Which is why phone trees and long wait times are ubiquitous despite being universally hated. Marketing and sales and having a 90+ % rate of people that don’t ever feel the need to call customer service basically eliminates that bad service as a concern.

      Even when asus had a famously bad customer service scandal this year, their sales continued to rise unabated.

  • RememberTheApollo_@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    26
    ·
    7 days ago

    Companies don’t want to provide actual service for problems. That costs money. They want you to give up.

    Customers hate anything that actually gets between them and someone that can actually help. Not shitty, complicated automated phone menus. Not some underpaid stooge who refuses to da anything except read from a mandatory customer service script. And not AI, which will combine both of the worst aspects of automation and scripted service along with a cheerful idiot that will spare no effort to direct you away from the nearest actual assistance.

  • daniskarma@lemmy.dbzer0.com
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    23
    ·
    edit-2
    7 days ago

    I do like it in the sense that people HATE working in customer service. Because people have zero respect and customers make your job day miserable all the time.

    Is one of the places where people deserve getting a hallucinating robot as a vengeance for how bad they treated people that worked there.

    • J12@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      9
      arrow-down
      1
      ·
      7 days ago

      I talk to about 10 customers each day for no more than 30 minutes and 99% of the time it’s to fix something they messed up on. 30% of those people are jerks.

      Thankfully most of my job is NOT dealing with customers and I truly feel bad for people who have to deal with them in high volume each day.

      If I call them, I can fix it immediately, if they call in, enjoy the robot. So don’t be mean and the call won’t be disconnected (which I have permission to do fortunately)

    • mm_maybe@sh.itjust.works
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      3
      ·
      6 days ago

      Tangential, but I absolutely loved working in technical support. The satisfaction of actually helping someone with a problem affecting their real life totally outweighed the abuse from individuals who were letting the work part of their life drag the whole rest of it down (which was just kind of sad to watch). I’ve gotten paid much more for other roles since then, but it’s one of the few roles in which I was thanked for what I did by the person I was working for, and that makes a huge difference.

  • Ballistic_86@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    18
    ·
    6 days ago

    Automated phone systems have been a thing for decades. They are notoriously shitty and adding a layer of “friendly AI” on top of that shitty system doesn’t bode well.

    • T156@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      2
      ·
      6 days ago

      They’re usually built for the lowest bidder.

      and that’s even before it has to contend with you having an accent, or the mic quality being anything less than crystal clear, with a perfect connection.

  • CriticalMiss@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    16
    ·
    7 days ago

    Realistically we only dislike it because it’s a half baked solution. I know that if those LLMs actually did anything useful we wouldn’t mind them. But all these LLMs do is spam the documentation, which is already on the vendor website anyway.

  • ToucheGoodSir@lemy.lol
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    8
    ·
    6 days ago

    Yeah it turns out that using a statistical model to handle customer service leads to a degraded customer experience, because statistical models aren’t humans and lack many human attributes.

    • storcholus@feddit.org
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      3
      ·
      6 days ago

      Also, “the progress” only works because it’s humans who bend the rules and show kindness to special situations

  • StaySquared@lemmy.world
    link
    fedilink
    English
    arrow-up
    10
    arrow-down
    1
    ·
    edit-2
    6 days ago

    Around my way, we have a pizza chain where they’ve began utilizing AI to take orders over the phone. The only screw up the AI made was that at first, before the process of taking our order down, it wanted to confirm that we live within the delivery distance, so we provided our home address and it verified that we were within range of delivery, after taking the order and repeating it back to us, including that the order will be delivered to our home address (providing the details of the home address) within a certain time range, the moment it asked us if this information is correct, we said yes and then a long pause, and it responded that it could not verify our home address.

    Wat.

    And because we decided to speak to a human, it apparently dumped the entire order and the person who answered our call did not have access to all the details we provided the AI.

    Pretty much wasted a little over 5 minutes with the AI.

    • MutilationWave@lemmy.world
      link
      fedilink
      English
      arrow-up
      2
      arrow-down
      4
      ·
      6 days ago

      If they’re using AI to answer their phones surely they have a website right? Who under the age of 40 is actually calling a pizza place to order?

      • FiveMacs@lemmy.ca
        link
        fedilink
        English
        arrow-up
        3
        ·
        6 days ago

        Me…it’s literally cheaper to call then use the internet to order. Try comparing the in-house menu, to the bullshit apps, to the website menu to calling and asking for a deal.

        Calling is always cheaper especially if you pickup.

        I also refuse to use any automated system. 0#0#0#0#0#0# or I keep saying human, representative, human human until the shiity programmed not gives up. Worst case, I actually go to the business in person.

        The internet and companies is broken beyond belief.