The Customer Service Survey

Whither GetHuman?

by Peter Leppik on Wed, 2008-06-18 01:00

A while ago, consumer advocacy website GetHuman.com was bought by longtime IVR industry gadfly Walt Tetschner. It was an interesting move, given that GetHuman seemed to have lost the interest of founder Paul English, and I was hoping that Walt would have the energy and inclination to drive GetHuman's (sometimes quixotic) mission to convince companies to make it easier to reach live agents. Sadly, it looks like that's not going to be the case.

The aesthetically questionable and advertising-heavy site makeover was annoying enough, and the fact that the blog hasn't been updated since its first day is worrisome. Many aspects of the website look simply unprofessional.

But for me, the saddest sign was a spam e-mail I received today flogging a product called Adaptive Audio, and promoting the "Adaptive Audio - GetHuman ROI/Payback Calculator."

Beyond the generalized noxiousness of spamming me, endorsing a particular call center product is fundamentally incompatible with GetHuman's claim of consumer advocacy. At the very least it looks bad: consumers can hardly be faulted for thinking GetHuman's motives are less than pure. At worst, this creates a serious conflict of interest when an advertiser wants to promote a product at odds with GetHuman's claimed mission.

You can argue that this has already happened, since one of the claimed benefits of the Adaptive Audio product is increased "containment"--that is, reducing the fraction of callers who get to a human. I don't know enough about this product to pass judgment--it may indeed improve the caller experience--but I do know that my opinion of GetHuman has been tarnished.

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