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Posted by on Sep 27, 2009 in Business Development | 2 comments

Tele-Menus and Removing Steps

In preparation of my big move to Philadelphia, PA, I have to call utilities companies to either cancel or begin service. Not the most exciting task, but necessary none-the-less. This means a lot of phone calls which translates into a lot of free time listening to elevator music.

Surprisingly, the first four calls I made, I went through one or two tele-menus and was put in touch with a representative. The luck spree could only last so long. I found myself typing tens of numbers into my phone in order to navigate my way to a representative, who then asked me for everything I accomplished in the tele-menus. Then, I would be directed to another department.

This is not a unique story by any means. My plight can be shared by many, but there is such a difference between one or two menus and even three or four. One or two is tolerable, but more than that is very frustrating. It is the difference between one menu and three is satisfaction and frustration. On the phone for so long, you have to wonder if the people orchestrating the tele-mess enjoy such narcissistic pleasures.

Essentially, tele-menus create unnecessary steps. It’s one thing to wait, it’s another to navigate through menus. Consider what steps are between customer and your product or service. Are any unnecessary?

Consider the difference between Mac and PC. Mac is ready after the first power-up. A PC is a different story. Every time your PC wakes up from a sleep, pop-ups ask unnecessary questions, bombard your screen and slow whatever you’re doing to a halt. Mac was able to take out unnecessary step to create a user-friendly experience, while Windows did quite the opposite. Removing steps can save an enormous amount of hassle and retain customers. How can you eliminate one or two steps?

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2 Comments

  1. I hate tele-menus! (I didn’t even know that’s what they were called…but now I know I hate them!) This is a great point…there are so many businesses in the world that could benefit from this advice. And if they hate tele-menus as much as I do, they’ll get the point from this analogy.

  2. I don’t know what they’re called either… I just made something up that sounded about right…

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