Because they are obsessed with cost, not service. Using an IVR (interactive voice response – ‘press 1 for this 2 for that’) means the customer is paying the costs of routing themselves.

But do customers get to the right place?

IVRs only work when you can predict what customers want from their point of view. You know this as a customer – how often do you find yourself waiting for an option that describes the problem you want to talk about? And if you can’t find the ‘right’ option you may try pressing anything in order to get through to someone who can help you.

IVRs are always a disaster when put on the front of high-variety services. But conventional managers wouldn’t know because they don’t study demand in customer terms.

Conventional managers also assume all demand is simply work to be done, just one of the mistakes associated with the ‘core paradigm‘.