Bot Dodging: The Ultimate Guide for Avoiding Automated Messages
Few things in life are more frustrating than the generic message of: “Your call is very important to us. An operator will be with you shortly.” When I have a problem or question, I don’t want to talk to a machine or go through a dozen troubleshooting-pages to get my answer - I want to speak to a human being.
No less wearisome is being forced to communicate with individuals who don’t actually know the answers to your questions, but are using an owner’s manual (which you most likely already own and have consulted) to walk to through your problem.
For those of you who wish to save yourselves time and frustration, I have developed a useful guide that I wish to share with you on “Bot Dodging: How to Avoid Automated Messages”.
Press “0”, “#” or Just Wait:
When you call a large company, you will most likely get a series of automated messages that lead you through a maze of options.
Pressing the “0” key is the most-used option by companies to speak directly to an operator. Other companies have a system which uses the pound key “#” as a shortcut to skip past the available options.
If the “0” and “#” tricks don’t work, try waiting on the line without pressing any options. The automated message may keep prompting you to press a key, but be patient. After waiting for a minute or two, the call will be either be disconnected, or more likely – transferred to an operator.
Keep an Updated Address Book:
There are times when I speak to half a dozen company employees before I find someone who can help me. When you are able to speak to someone useful, ask them for their work number, extension number, work email, and name. Most large companies allow their employees to give out this information, just incase the call gets disconnected. Not only will this help you avoid going through an automated system again, it will help you speak to a competent individual quickly.
Use Online Tools:
Due to this epidemic of machine operators, companies have arisen to help you the consumer find your way to a person. Websites like www.gethuman.com give you a step-by-step guide on how to reach a customer service representative for thousands of corporations throughout America and the world – free of charge.
Use Blogs and Forums to Find your Answers:
Most problems that you encounter, someone else has also. Before you take the time to call or write a company to find a solution to your problem, try going online and searching for a solution.
Include information such as the make, model, product, year, and the problem or question you are faced with, so you end up with a search along the lines of: “2009 MacBook pro audio doesn’t work”. You’ll be amazed at how much information you can find this way. You may have to play around with the wording a bit, but the answers to most of your problems can be found in forums, blogs, or online guides.
As an added bonus, I’ll include a trick that has served me well over the years.
I have had the privilege to work with many managers, entrepreneurs, and CEOs in my time, each of whom have company emails. They are careful to guard their emails to ensure that customers go through the “proper channels” to get in contact with the company.
However, the mistake they often make is that their emails follow the company pattern. This means that if you know that company’s email account system, you can contact certain person or position directly. For example: if you email an administrative assistant whose email is “MichaelS@companyname.org”, it is safe to assume that the general manager (we’ll name him John Doe) has the email address of: “JohnD@companyname.org”.
It is worth the time to try this trick with a drafted email. If it doesn’t work, simply go through the same channels you would otherwise have used.
Apply these tips to your calls and emails, and they will undoubtedly save you time and stress.