Sunday, November 30, 2008
Interesting story. I'd also be interested in seeing research that explains why companies allow bosses and "top performers" to abuse co-workers and subordinates. Perhaps if we understood why the behavior was allowed to occur - and even rewarded - it would be possible to design effective interventions.
In the meantime, I'll give Scott Adams the last word on bad bosses. I find this strip hysterically funny because it happened to me. The name of the book the manager tried to give me was Crucial Conversations.
Monday, November 24, 2008
The hardest part to understand in any complex system where human behavior plays a part is the human. And that's the part that's invariably over simplified in finance and economics. There's very little "human factor" in economics, except perhaps in the sub-field of behavioral economics.
As a voice user interface designer, I see it all the time. Project teams spend a great deal of time on the technology itself, because the technology is pretty difficult to implement. Unfortunately, the behavior of customers and callers and customer service reps is often given short shrift. That's too bad, because that's the really hard part to understand, and the success of an implementation is dependent on understanding and designing to accomodate the human part of the system.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Readers' reactions to the app is really interesting. Most of the reactions are pretty positive, but a few people registered complaints. If you work with speech reco technology you know that the underlying language model is based on North American English. You realize that it doesn't work as well with people who are sick with colds. But the readers didn't cut the app any slack for those things, and that's important to remember for people who are delivering speech apps. Users' expectations are already pretty high for speech reco, and this will make it even higher.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
"Oh you gotta be kidding me how the hell am I supposed to know that?"
The IVR had prompted the caller for the last four digits of the credit card number that was used to set up and pay for a service. The service may have been set up as long as a year previously, and many customers have more than one credit card. The question of how the hell the customer was supposed to know that had at least occurred to the IVR designer of this application. There were extra steps placed in the IVR to mitigate this scenario, but none were very effective. Lesson learned: ask for things that you know are easily available to the caller, or prepare them in advance for unusual requests that take time to track down.
Friday, November 7, 2008
The phrase is really annoying. Some brilliant individual created a working demo that makes that point far better than I can in writing on my blog. Call 888-583-2801 and enjoy. Thank you Brad Lehman for the pointer.