I had a thought.

There was this article I read somewhere saying how peoples’ big hopes for voice recognition is now being tempered. The biggest problem with sound is that it’s inherently serial (serial, as opposed to parallel – you have to go through things in order, one at a time). So it will never replace like, computer monitors which can display lots of information at one time.

The thing people hate most about menu driven phone help lines is that it takes forever to navigate through it, because of that serial problem. It might serve a useful purpose, like getting you to the right place, but it sucks for the caller.

In this case, stuff like on-line menu based help is much preferable, because you can scan it a lot quicker and more quickly get to what you need. But what people hate about on-line help is that if you can’t find it through the menus, you just can’t find it. You’re limited to what’s there, and you can’t really ask about something else. So in this case, phone help lines are better.

Well the web is all about fusion of media, so why not fuse these things? Why not make like voice interaction seamless through the web, so that a person looking for help can quickly navigate through online menus so he/she is pointed to the right place, and then be able to talk to the right person? It’s the best of both worlds – you’re quickly directed to the right place, and you get to talk with a real person.

I don’t know, I just think it would revolutionize customer service, and would make people a lot happier if they could do this. Maybe they already are. If not, Eric, you have until Friday.

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