It's been a busy day... let's just leave it at that.

But I had to post this link from a friend on the other coast about customer satisfaction, which is a hot topic these days. Interesting that Frank Hayes of Computerworld should report that Customers Hate Automated Systems, Vendors Don't Get It.

Really? I love talking to and trying to interrupt an automated phone system. Not.

"We hate automated customer service  systems. That's the key finding of a recent study by Accenture. Understand, the study didn't look at how well we like acquiring, installing, integrating, operating and maintaining customer service automation. It was about how well we like being on the receiving end. Short answer: We don't.

"Wait, it's worse: We not only hate being subjected to automated customer service -- we're also irritated enough that we're ready to change vendors in the hope that we'll have better luck elsewhere.

"Worse still: Vendors are clueless about just how bad things are."

Clueless? No, not clueless. Perhaps some are in denial.

"Accenture actually commissioned two separate surveys. In one, 1,200 customers of technology companies were asked what they thought of their suppliers' customer service. In the other, executives at 35 technology vendors were asked how well they believed their customer service systems performed.

"Three-fourths of vendors believe their customer service is above average, and 54 percent say theirs is up there with the best in the industry.

"Meanwhile, 78 percent of customers say their vendors are only average or below average.

"Among vendors, 57 percent say they have higher customer satisfaction because of new technology they're using for customer service, and 71 percent say customer problems are being resolved faster than before.

"Among customers, 61 percent say service has not improved -- and 57 percent actually describe themselves as somewhat, very or extremely upset by lousy customer service."

"According to the survey, when we go through a vendor's customer service process, we want our problems resolved quickly and completely, preferably the first time through.

"Instead, 64 percent of us have had to go back more than once to get problems solved -- and 58 percent of us are not at all satisfied with the telephone-based self-help customer service that lots of suppliers have foisted on us."

Of interest: Accenture's High Performance Business Blog

Tags: Microsoft, loyalty, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Service.