It can be said, I believe, that most of us hate automated systems. If given the option, we’d rather talk to a live human than a system. Today, it seems the automated system is taking over and the human touch is becoming a thing of the past. This is a great cost saving device for companies but could very well leave your user (ie customers) running elsewhere.

An example:

I called HSBC recently for a wire transfer between my accounts. When I reached a human, I was told I needed to use the automated system. After pressing the several numbers (1, 1, 3, 1, 2) to get to my destination, I am then given a confirmation code (#000000 for example) and a couple of fax numbers to send it to and then the system hangs up. This left me wondering what I am supposed to do with that.

I call up the help desk and ask, “What am I supposed to do with these numbers?” The conversation follows as such:

Help Desk: Go ahead and write down on a piece of paper your details, the details of the receiver, any contact details needed, and please sign it and send it in.
Me: Any piece of paper?
Help Desk: Yes
Me: Ok so not so automated then?
Help Desk: (after a laugh) No.

Not only did this leave me frustrated but it also left me wondering about the security of the system. Can anyone get my details and send my money elsewhere?

Leaving your customer frustrated and nervous about a situation will entice them to look elsewhere for the same service. This then becomes a loss in revenue for your business which can be easily fixed with a proper system.

Personally, I think I will be returning to PayPal for all my “wire transfer” needs until HSBC either:
1) Truly automates the system
2) Allows me human contact
3) Creates an automated system online