The voice on the other end of the phone does not tell you to ‘please listen carefully,
as our menu options have changed’. E-mail inquiries do not pretend as though they
were never sent. More and more companies are finding out that people actually
want to interact with other real people, not pseudo-intelligent machines
that can’t respond to simple things like ‘Hi, how are you?’ Did pseudo-intelligent
humans forget something so obvious?

Companies like LivePerson
help clients from large ISPs to small libraries
communicate one-on-one with people via the web. Softroad
takes the concept of live help one step further by allowing anyone, anywhere access
to their live Internet surfers via SMS, 2-way pager, or other mobile device. There’s
nothing like human ingenuity when it comes to questions more complex than ‘what’s
my balance?’ or ‘what’s the weather in Miami?’. But are more companies going to