Automated phone system seems like bad idea

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Our apologies to anyone who has dealt with our automated telephone system after business hours, but we hope the Red Willow County Courthouse doesn't go to an automated answering service.

That's one of the proposals before the Red Willow County commissioners on Monday, and one of the others is to hire a courthouse receptionist.

We're not privy to details of the plan, but we can understand the idea behind a receptionist who might greet visitors and direct them to the proper office.

But if that isn't economically feasible, the idea behind an automated answering service is a little hard to understand.

Why should a caller who knows he wants to talk to the County Clerk have to call a central line first?

We agree that answering the phone can take an inordinate amount of time, but other than hiding behind voice mail, there seems to be little purpose for purchasing an automated system.

Besides that, with the average age of our population creeping steadily upward, requiring callers to deal with computers before talking to an actual human being doesn't seem like a very customer-friendly attitude.

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