3 Nominations to the Customer Service Hall of Shame

If there is such a place, I want to offer up my 3 Nominations to the Customer Service Hall of Shame.  If you have a need to call your bank, your phone company or even your insurance company you have experienced the 3  lies they are telling you as a customer, typically all before you have talked to a real person.  There must have been a phone messaging webinar that every large business was required to attend that told the attendees that this is how you win your customers over.

Do these sound familiar?

  1. “We are currently experiencing higher than normal call volume. Your satisfaction is important to us and we appreciate your patience.”
  2. “Please listen carefully as our options have changed”
  3. “This call is being recorded for training purposes.”

You can probably hear the voice in your head as you read each one.  How do you react when you hear these messages, regardless of what time of day or night you call.  Think about the impression you form when you are on the phone.

” We are currently experiencing higher than normal call volume…”

What they are really saying is, “We are understaffed and have put our focus on other more important areas than being readily available to answer your questions and continue to earn and deserve your business.  Just hang on while we find someone, somewhere that is willing to take your call.”

Or, “We want to blast a two minute commercial at you because we have you captive.”

“Please listen carefully as our options have changed.”

What they are really saying is “Pay attention stupid, stop  being lazy and listen to the instructions we are giving you.  We really did change our options four years ago after attending this cool phone productivity seminar, but no one remembers how to change the message.”

“This call is being recorded for training purposes.”

What they are really saying is “We are recording this call because you might not like our answers, or lack thereof, and might resort to bad language or yelling at us, demanding we get our supervisor on the phone.  We need to record this so that we can cover our rear-ends if your frustration is high enough to mention my lack of knowledge or empowerment to assist you with your request to an executive with our company.”

Why not just tell us the truth?

I would rather hear that you are keeping your staffing level low to maintain your prices, or that I need to listen to the options and select the most appropriate choice to speed up my answer.

Use this opportunity to increase my satisfaction with you.  Impress me by demonstrating that you care about my needs.  And stop stuffing those obnoxious advertisements about products that I am probably not receptive to at the moment any.

Serve me when I call, market to me using all the many tools at your disposal.  At least when I see your tweet or Facebook promotion I might actually check it out.  Won’t happen when I am on the phone with you because you double-billed my credit card AGAIN.

What are your additions to the Phone System Hall of Shame?  How can you dazzle your customers when they call you?

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