Frustrated Customer: Stupid FAQ Page

Today’s Human Talk comes straight from a Chris Brogan rant:

Dear companies providing customer service:

Yes, I know it’s cheaper that I use your website, and I’m really smart, so normally your website might even be a viable option, even though it’s laid out like crap, and it’s not exactly intuitive, and it doesn’t answer questions the way I wish they would be asked.

Yes, I understand that you’d MUCH rather I go through 400 steps on your Interactive Voice Response Unit and decide which chute to traverse, and sometimes, I can navigate that and get done what needs doing (best in class for useful IVRs, in case you’re wondering, is American Express), but sometimes I cannot.


This morning, this means T-Mobile. Don’t make it hard for me to get done what needs doing. Don’t hide stuff on your site. Don’t make me BEG for humans.

Customer service NEEDS to evolve. Because just as Google is your *real* home page, Customer Service are your *real* best opportunities to keep me happy with you, NOT a bolt-on cost center.

Sounds like a passionate call for Human Talk to me.

What about Live Chat?

Website Live Chat HelpThis has me wondering what the general consensus is on Live Chat as a form of customer service. In this instance, I’m talking about the websites provide a form of in-site chat as a form of customer service. (Although, I’m a believer in seeking to provide help to consumers on their turf via Twitter, Blogs, etc.)

My experience with live chat has been consistently pleasant. It seems that I usually get the answers I’m looking seemingly fast, especially when you compare the method to the usual customer service phone call. And if a portion of a companies customer service has been outsourced, I’ve found that Live Chat can take some of the language and cultural barriers off the table. Most of us are used to shorthand methods used when texting and chatting online, so what can sometimes come across as broken English on the phone, may seem like the norm via Live Chat.

One downside to Live Chat is the lack of emotion that this communication method provides. Where a customer service rep on the phone could detect emotions through the tone and volume of the conversation, this can be hard (if not impossible) with Live Chat.

What are your opinions on Live Chat?

Phone or Live Chat, which one do you prefer?

Chris Brogan, I didn’t see any option for Live Chat on T-Mobile’s website. Would you have used this method if T-Mobile offered it?


This post is part of the Human Talk series. 

If you would like to contribute your good or bad Human Talk examples, Email me. I’ll accept photos, stories, videos, audio, etc. and give credit where credit is due.