'Dear every company in America...' Also, 7 other things worth knowing today.
Bill, so funny and so sad all at the same time. I went nuts just this week when yet another vmail system told me their menu options had recently changed. I called BS on that one.
If you’ve never dealt with government offices, you have no idea of how their vmail system can break even the strongest people. The absolutely, top of the line, most wonderful calling experience is with 1-800-contacts. They should be the gold standard for all system setups.
I love the phone systems that tell you the info you will need when the CSR comes on line: You will need your account number, the service address on the account, and the name of your 7th grade math teacher so you might as well hang up!!
Your recommendations for phone options for companies is the best I've ever seen. I've experienced ALL of the bad options you listed and recently got caught in a loop when calling a very good company's "trouble shooting" line. The very first AND THE ONLY OPTION was to hear about a special sales offer that caught me a loop that never allowed me to speak to a service person or get to ANY other option. SHEESH!
And once you’ve connected with an actual rep, please, dear faceless company, train the rep not to say “Have good day” or words to that effect after the problem was revealed (and most likely not resolved) and the frustration in connecting recounted.
HOWEVER, as the one calling, I know that I have a responsibility as well. I work hard not to make the actual person the target of my frustration. I often say, “I know it’s not you but the system and the script you’re trained to follow.” But sometimes the script is so ingrained that even after I ask, “Please don’t tell me have a good day” as the call come to an end, they still say much the same. Let me close with the great word Carlton Owen used in his comment “SHEESH!”
Bullseye! You nailed every thought I have on phone auto attendant systems. This should be required reading in the C suite of the Fortune 500.
Wow, Bill. Tell us what’s really bothering you!
Thanks for the laugh!! I’m sure we all can relate.
The worst experience for me was with car insurance company, Liberty Mutual. When my daughter’s car windshield was cracked, I called 3 times trying to get a representative. I ended up paying it myself since I couldn’t get anyone on the line. I later got a letter that Liberty Mutual was dropping me for too many claims. I had NO CLAIMS!! After switching companies, I had to call the company who compiles data for the Liberty Mutual and found out that each time I called the automated system at Liberty Mutual, it generated a “claim” and claim number. Even though I never actually used the insurance and all three claims showed up as $0 paid out, Liberty Mutual dropped me as they considered those to be claims. The data company is going to fix my record and dispute it to Liberty Mutual, but I want nothing to do with them. If I can’t get a rep to help with a window crack, I don’t want to rely on them for anything worse! Car insurance is a scammy business in my opinion, but that’s another topic altogether!! Lol
Don’t make me listen to my ‘account summary’…a half dozen stats that I don’t care about now.
I have experienced every single one of these bad responses. If it is true that the customer is the most important and valued asset a company has you would think that they would have a better customer service. As time goes by it seems as if it has even gotten worse in particular during and after the pandemic. When I had my company we believed the person who answered the phone was the face of the business so how they handled the call represented us in the way that we wanted to be seen. I find it incredibly frustrating today to get a hold of a human being Without having been rerouted put on hold told to call back again and again and again. it has frustrated me so much that I have often changed companies. But the worst part of it is it ruins my day and that’s something I have to work on personally
From your lips to the Service Departments across the service universe. It is as if they don't care about their customers once we have made our purchases.
You missed the most egregious one — “We’re experiencing greater than normal call volume and will answer your call as soon as possible…” This has become standard with corporations for YEARS and companies have used this as a dodge to normalize hiring too few trained service personnel for the high volume of traffic that has become NORMAL. Most do not give you the courtesy of a wait time, or cue number, so you can't evaluate whether you want to continue or not. Some give you awful, scratchy, tinny music to listen to that’s too loud and is interspersed with chirpy commercials that you have to endure. Most of my doctors have taken this further and switch you over to a recording, so there’s no possibility of ever talking to a human. Then you can wait for the rest of the day for a call back, but it is now common for the callback to arrive two or more days later. For many call centers, you now wind up talking to someone in the Philippines or Mumbai, where a fast talking youngster babbles with a sing-song heavy accent over a poor connection as they read off of a programmed screen. If only every corporation would take a few minutes and check out Apple’s fine support call setup — clear, polished, professional and customer centered.
While all good points, a few are unrealistic in the real world.
All calls answered in 1 ring? The cost of that is quite high. (It's a thing called Erlang if you want to look it up)
Listing options in likely customer use is also problematic. Do you really want the first option to be about a problem and the message that sends to customers?
Sales pitch - you're mixing up connecting someone to an person and on hold "music". Or in this case the sales pitch as you put it. Also, a case for using these announcements is to have the customer self serve their issue. If all the agent is going to do is book a service appointment, there is no added value to speaking to them. Wouldn't it be better to have the customer book their own appointments on the web and use the agent for added value services?
Before y'all flame me, I am on the side of customers. But I do have a suggestion. If a company provides a good product or service, stay loyal to them. Going elsewhere isn't always cheaper in the end.
Very informative! Worth the read. Thank you for sharing
Right on, right on, right on...thanks Bill.
I miss a person’s voice a live person’s voice. Oh heck! people in general the time when people just talked. In very least wrote or typed with punctuation. I agree with you as I am waiting for a response from a live person and how important my call is by a taped voice. Thank you.