The gethuman customer service standards


This is a preliminary specification for public review.

This standard has been updated based on our consumer feedback.

basic ten standards

  1. if a human operator is available when a consumer calls, the human should answer the phone
  2. when a human is not available to answer the call, the caller must always be able to dial 0 or to say "operator" at the top level menu to queue for a human
  3. estimated wait time should always be given, with updated estimate every few minutes during hold time
  4. do not ever make a caller repeat any info provided during a call.
  5. callers should always be offered the option to be called back, for times when there is a long wait for human operator. for long holds, offer this option about every five minutes.
  6. callers should be able to interrupt when possible (need to define); avoid extra long/verbose prompts
  7. while holding, allow caller to disable hold music. if you play ads or promotions, allow user to disable them.
  8. do not disconnect for user errors, including when there is no perceived key presses (as they might be on a rotary phone), instead queue for a human operator (or offer the choice for callback).
  9. for US, assume english; dial 9 to change language.
  10. regularly survey users (via callback?) on call quality. companies should use this data to trend improvement over time, to bonus call center executives, to impact support representative's compensation and training, and to benchmark a company against their industry.

additional guidelines

  1. no verbosity
  2. "patronizing" personas (to be defined)
  3. avoid annoying phrases such as
    • your call is important to us
    • please listen carefully, as our menu options have changed
    • you can access our website to answer most questions

extra credit :)

  1. allow consumers, where appropriate, to identify themselves via their caller ID and a PIN they securely defined, instead of requiring them to enter long account numbers each time they call
  2. default to last language setting via caller ID
  3. let callers select their type of hold music, and remember their selection for their next calls
  4. allow a caller to access audio transcriptions of their calls via company website