Poor system design inspires customers

If your system lacks the ability to recognize human input, you have a system design problem. While the problem may seem obvious to you and me, plenty of people don’t get it at all. It’s why you can respond to a voice prompt only to be told your response can’t be understood. It’s why employees are lacking solutions.

The problem is not the consumer’s. It is the company’s, every time, for the transgression inspires frustration, a powerful motivator for alternative action.

Systems ought to be designed for ease of consumer use, not ease of company use, yet the opposite is often the case.

Take T-Mobile’s customer service line, which has been programmed to understand only certain higher pitches of human voice input. If you are a man with a deep voice, T-Mobile’s message is, ‘Don’t call us,’ which leads to the alternative action of using a different cellular provider.

Take nearly any phone prompting system and you may find that it was not designed for humans at all. No, it was designed for ease of company use, which means it is useless to you, the customer (unless, of course, you believe in the idea that a company is a human.)

The solution, then, is simple: just take the alternate action of finding a company who puts customers first in everything they do.

If you are the company with the poor system design, you really have only one choice: improve. If you choose instead to ignore the problem, people will begin to ignore you, which will inevitably inspire your demise.

Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.


Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.

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