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Monday, February 11, 2013

RANT: Counterproductive Customer Service

I’m not a fan of automated phone answering systems. That being said, I understand their use and am OK with ‘em.
OK until you annoy me, that is.
One of the things that annoys me is the "helpful" warning: “Listen carefully because our menu options have changed.” Seriously? You think your customers memorized your entire menu tree and need to be notified that you changed it? Are your products/services so bad that your customers are calling in to complain so regularly that they’ve learned the previous menu by heart?
and ... speaking of phone automation, give some direction to your “voice.” Why can’t the prerecorded message “Your wait time will be fifty-six minutes” sound a little more apologetic? It has the same cheerful and upbeat tone as the “Your wait time will be three minutes” message.

and ... can you answer a quick question: Why does your automated system tell me to enter my account number for faster service if, after I finally get through, the first thing your rep does is ask me for my account number?

and ... while I’m hold, why get me further incensed by letting me know that you know my “time is valuable” at the very moment you’re wasting it? And why tell me that “Your call is important to us” when that just makes me want to yell into the phone: “No, it’s not! If it were important to you, someone would have picked up the phone 20 minutes ago!”

and ... I understand the logic behind having your reps end a call with the phrase “I hope I’ve been able to answer all your questions.” I understand the logic, but when a rep has to say this even if they know they haven’t answered all my questins, it makes your rep feel like an idiot and me like a chump.

The last word: a number of times when I have had issues with my cable TV/high speed Internet provider, the help provider ends the call, as instructed, by saying, “Thanks for choosing ABC* today.” My first reaction is to say, “I didn’t choose to call you today, I had to call you to fix a problem with your service.” That phrase might be a cheery way to close a phone call after I have signed up for your service, but it’s not a good “end every call with this” phrase. In some cases – like every time I call, because I bought your service once and have had to call with technical issues a number of times – it’s annoying.

Do you agree? Disagree? Give me a call, at the prompt  enter  pound sign 13; then enter the first 3 letters of my last name followed by the  pound sign and leave a message. For faster service enter your account number.

*names changed to protect the guilty

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