NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — No one really likes to wait on hold when looking for customer service, and dealing with automated voice prompts can often be more of a burden than a blessing.
But what if there were another way? Many tech companies — and big businesses too — are embracing mobile apps that can bring customer service straight to the customer’s fingertips.
Cara Maltz dreaded the thought of being stuck on hold with her cable company. So instead, she decide to try the OwnerListens app.
As CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, the app allows users to contact businesses directly by relaying customer messages and sending responses to the users’ phone — without having to make a phone call.
“Within two hours I got back a response, directly from the cable company. It was a long message that listed all of the details, answering all that I had asked,” Maltz said. “It was the best experience I have had when it has come to customer service, it felt fulfilling for me.”
Not waiting on hold to get answers is what experts say is contributing to a growing number of similar apps and websites.
“The future of customer service is everything at your fingertips,” Adi Bittan, owner of OwnerListens said. “People want things to be immediate.”
The GetHuman app shows users the most immediate way to work through a company’s automated phone maze to reach a non-automated customer service representative.
For those times you can’t get a live person, the ‘Lucy’ mobile app waits on hold for you — and calls you back when the company answers.
Even some big-name businesses are using apps to communicate with customers — giving opportunities for users to reach out through Facebook messenger, Twitter, or online live chat options.
“The days of consumers getting all their problems taken care of by sitting on hold with a company are quickly fading,” John Breyault, of the National Consumers League, said.
Other apps, like the Best Buy app, let shoppers call, text or email a customer service representative while they’re in the store.
Consumer watchdogs say these apps can help ease phone frustration — but like any other downloaded app, check out their ratings and privacy policies.