Let Customers Know It's Personal.
Customers tend to dislike outsourced customer service departments and endless telephone menus that seem to keep them away from any form of human contact. That makes personal service a competitive advantage and companies never shirk from declaiming their commitment to it - even if the reality may be very different.
The screen-shot above comes from an insurance company and was what I saw when a basic renewal proved impossible to achieve online. I interpreted the options as send an email into the abyss and hope for a response some time in the future or tangle with the premium rate phone line. I opted for the latter and got my policy renewed.
I also discovered that the innocuous "ask us a question" hid the option of IM interaction with a team of online specialists. Real people answering my questions in real time? Wouldn't that have been worth emphasising?