This story on a website called silicon.com caught my eye for its sheer silliness. The writer posits on how virtual world Second Life could play a role as a virtual waiting room for real-life customer service. The story even quotes a consultant:
In future [sic], the consultants believe call centres could one day ask customers to follow up a phone call with them by moving the query into a virtual world. And hanging around in Second Life is more fun than being stuck on hold. As Claus Nehmzow, member of PA Consulting’s management team points out: “The waiting period can be so much more entertaining than with an IVR system”.
Instead of being placed in a queue to enjoy hold ‘muzak’ when contacting a call centre, virtual world visitors could make more profitable use of their time – talking to other inhabitants, viewing videos, reading information in the environment for example.
And I’m sure customers with real problems to solve or orders to place will eagerly latch onto being shunted to a fake world where they can chat up their issues with an avatar.
This is a textbook case of a journalist desperately seeking a fresh angle for an overexposed topic. Inevitably, the result is an incredibly dumb story.