good user interfaces: a computer generated voice call I liked

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I got a computer-generated phone call that I actually enjoyed. Well, in a wonky sort of way.

My health care provider put a very solicitous recorded voice on the line, asking if they could communicate with me about their services. All I had to do was say yes or no, so I played along. They asked a few "how do you like what we're doing" questions, slipped in a reminder about being able to change my doctor any time, pointed me to a web site for some other information (and offered to send me a link to it!), and finally provided a health tip. Their objectives were totally met, and I found it almost pleasant.

There are some really useful user experience lessons in this call, which normally I would have dropped like a hot potato:

1) Asking if it's OK to continue (which they did about 5 times) is a very nice way to get user buy-in. (Don't do it in your computer user interfaces, but given an unsolicited call, it forced me to make a conscious choice, rather than feeling put upon.)
2) Having a human-sounding voice (I'm pretty sure they recorded a real voice) with interesting human inflections was much more engaging than the the usual recorded or generated voice. (I wondered if they were using my own inflections ... nahhh.)
3) The reason for every question was very clear. They obviously thought carefully about what they wanted to know, and how to ask in a clear way. Even their explanations of why they were giving me tips were very to the point.
4) They had things that were of value to me, and didn't waste my time unnecessarily to get there.

Because they showed they cared about my time, in the way they constructed the call, I will be much more likely to sit through the next automated call I get from them. That's a good goal for any interaction, including the ones provided by computer interfaces and emails.