! The Answer To All Your Call Centre Frustrations!


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For customer service, press 1….. for sales, press 2….. for queries about your invoice, press 3…… to wait endlessly and hear inane drivel on the phone, or worse crap music, with someone saying ‘your call is important to us’ every two minutes just keep pressing buttons until we get around to speaking to you or you lose interest….

Have you ever experienced that? Well, fret no more, your phone frustrations and worries may well be over. Your prayers have been answered by a guy called Nigel Clarke who has set up an innovative new website called!

It’s a website that helps you get through the maze of call centre ‘options’ by automatically providing you with the combinations for specific services on hundreds of websites.

All you have to do is look up the company and the ‘options’ you want and it gives you the numbers you need to press without having to listen to that automated voice (or the music or the adverts!). It saves you time, money and reduces frustration – which has got to be a good thing!

For example, if you were a Lloyds TSB home insurance customer wanting to report a water leak you would normally have to wade through 78 menu options over seven levels to get through to the correct department! pleasepress1 tells you that by simply dialling 1-3-2-1-1-5-4 you’ll get straight through – saving you an estimated four minutes’ waiting time (could be more, if you’re like me and often press the wrong button by mistake!).17M-phone-number-short-cuts.1

Nigel is hoping to build the website and is asking businesses to submit their ‘codes’ to his website to help their customers access their services.

It’s clear that many have got some work to do in this area. For example, Nigel says that the HMRC receives 79 million calls per year and it can take up to 6 minutes to reach a specific department – that’s the equivalent to customers spending a potential 4.3 million hours a year just navigating menus. Now, THAT would be the Government making a real contribution to improving business productivity!

Other examples include Direct Line Insurance’s business customer service which has 107 options over three menu levels, and Argos store enquiries which has 73 options over five levels!

It will be interesting to see how this develops, and if companies do ‘adopt’ the system. Surely, any forward thinking, customer focused business will embrace this – after all, it won’t cost them money and will improve (‘revolutionise’ in some cases) the experience they offer to their customers. That’s a great oppportunity to get ahead of their less forward thinking or customer focused competitors.

With fewer irate customers, it might also make the experience better for their employees too!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


  1. 2-3 years ago, I had a monitor returned for repair 4 times over 4 months (extended warranty). I racked-up over £30 in 0845 and0844 calls, partly through prompting and waiting time. After several letters and calls of complaint, this was resolved and my call-costs refunded. By chance, I met a director, who asked me to write in. I severly criticised their ext. warranty policy, their delivery service, and especially their phone service. He never replied, but I now notice that all of the above is much improved and streamlined.
    British businesses MUST stop putting cost-cutting, shareholders and tolerance of staff incompetance before the customer. Better to pay for more staff than enlarge their Complaints Departments !

    This feedback service is incredibly slow !

  2. Nigel

    Thanks for that – I’m sure you’re not alone in thinking that UK businesses need to put more effort and resources into this.

    First Direct seem to do it well – can’t quite understand why others don’t learn from them!

    Anybody got any other ‘ggod’ examples?


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