Thoughts from our Chief Executive

28 October 2021

Press 0 for a Human Being

So, you need some help from customer service; you dial the number on the website, and you’re greeted by an automated voice reeling off a list of options. Do you:

  • Listen patiently and make your selection
  • Eagerly wait to hear the options all over again
  • Panic and make a random choice
  • Just press 0 to speak to a human being

According to recent research, almost three quarters of us try to shortcut our way to a customer service representative.

It’s a behaviour I recognise in myself.  Automated phone menus are blunt instruments. They may work well for the most basic navigation – for example to help an insurance company sort callers making claims from those wanting to buy a policy – but they soon turn into cul-de-sacs, with lists of options that baffle or don’t quite correspond with your reason for calling.

Life is messy; it seldom conforms to pre-selected categories. Automated tools can be a valuable and save time, but they have their limits. As with all aspects of automation and digitisation, service organisations have to navigate a path between operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. Automated menus are hardly new, of course, but even with innovations like interactive voice response (IVR) we are still at a point where they routinely frustrate and confuse.

At Cynergy Bank we’re on a mission to fuse the best that technology has to offer with the expertise, experience and intuition you can only get from real live human beings. These are not always easy judgement calls of course, but it’s clear that the banking industry, in common with many other sectors, needs to do more to get the balance right.


Nick Fahy

Chief Executive Officer