No! My call is NOT important to you.

Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

You know the drill. You call say your bank, or your cable or phone company. First comes the apology that the pandemic is the current excuse for poor customer service. Next we hear “All our agents are busy assisting other customers.” Then the Big Lie, “Your call is very important to us.”

I call total BS on this oft repeated phrase.

Sure you want my business, but not enough to arrange to call me back as some companies have finally figured out. Not enough to avoid putting me on hold with gawdawful music.

Do the people who order these kinds of messages ever listen to them? Make me queen and I guarantee anyone who causes this message to be played will be forced to listen to it for 24 hours once a week.

I mean what do you expect from customers who are routinely treated this way — loyalty? Do you love knowing you’ve got the power to enrage 80 percent of the people who call and are shuffled into that kind of holding system?

How’s that working for you?

The problem is, as a customer who is being treated poorly, I don’t have any power, or not much. I can rant at the poor person who finally gets around to answering my call. They’ve probably been screamed at twenty-four times before they got to me. How’s that for relationship building?

Why is good customer service so rare? Why is poor customer service so darn predictable. Do the ‘telephone trees’ come preloaded meaning you have no way to change the message to something more honest, and perhaps helpful or a bit funny?

If you don’t want to get good at it for my sake, your customer, consider making life easier for your customer service rep. Wouldn’t you rather be surrounded by happy, or at least not miserable employees? Oh, they’re all off shore and you never see them anyway. I see.

You might want to test a few places out. A shopping trip to say Trader Joe’s or Costco might give you a whole new perspective. Oh, don’t forget how well you’re treated at Nordstrom and the mobile company Ting. These corporations apparently love their customers, and maybe their employees. What a concept.

For my part, I make it a personal policy when I find great customer service, to tell both the agent, and if I can get connected to a supervisor, talk with them as well. Try it sometime. You can often hear their surprise and delight. Besides, I think complementing those who do something well is one way to encourage more of the same.

Writer, life and writing coach, book ghostwriter, Grandmother, Buddhist. Liberal who listens to the other side, political activist-www.DemocracyCounts.org

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