Posted by: Dave Neads | April 6, 2008

Your Call Is Important to Us!

How many times a day or week do you get the now familiar message, “Your call is important to us, please stay on the line and you will be looked after faster than if you hang up”?  Then you get 10 to who knows many minutes of either gag reflex elevator music or some kind of unintelligible atonal squeal that passes for the top ten these days.

I am old enough to remember when a human answered the phone.  These people had well modulated voices, you could hear the smile in their greeting, you could visualize a company that really wanted your business.

In another life I was a marketing manager for good old Ma Bell in Ontario.  We used to give courses on telephone manners.  Things like “The person who answers your incoming calls is very important. He or she can make or break a possible customer by the way the person calling in feels.”

Not anymore.  Click, and on comes the tape, or more likely these days a computer, a neutered computer that tries to sound female but usually sounds more like a cat with a fur ball caught in its throat.

Customers have fallen below the bottom line in importance.  Companies now purposely run 10 to 15 percent short staffed.  This cuts costs, gets more work out the employees left on the job, and keeps the share price up.

So now, helping the business we are trying to communicate with to be more profitable, we sit like so many monkeys on a limb, phone or headset clamped to our skulls, multitasking, while the dreadful music drones or clangs in our ears.

What ever happened to the style, the sense of customer service that used to be the hallmark of good business?  Gobbled up in the stock price, in that new bonus package for the poor, overworked CEO I guess.

And  here I sit, typing this rant, still waiting for some one, anyone to talk to me.

“Due to unusually high call volumes …”

Hello, is there anyone out there?  Hello…..

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