June Update #2

Technology is a great thing except when used to answer phone calls to businesses and do Senior Management (“C” staff) ever call into their own Customer Service centers?

I doubt it! If they did, they’d learn just how bad “most” are … from the maze of automated call directing (what annoying crap!) to the hold “music” that is interrupted very 40 seconds with apologies and reassurances that they’ll get to you “as soon as possible” because “your call is important to us” … (If it REALLY was, you’d have someone on the phone now). “You wait time is expected to be … three and one-half minutes” – It’s already been nine!

Then, there are the front line representatives who must obtain specific identifying information (which, by the way, seldom gets passed along when your call is escalated requiring you to provide all that identifying information all over again…). Once front line reps are convinced they are unable to assist, they transfer you to another representative. Back to that wonderful hold music…

Second level representative asks. for identification purposes, all the same information. (Must be some law they are NOT going to mess because we live in such a litigious society one slip could bring the house down). And, then you are told there is a specific group within the organization that handles your type of question because it’s related to a speciality service or product. “Please hold while I transfer you to that group.”

“Hi! This is ______, of the speciality group. Before we begin, I have to ask some identifying questions…” (again)

I’m attempting to be as generic as possible because I believe this scenario plays out across businesses that use 1) automated answering equipment, 2) music on hold with interruptions less than one minute apart telling you how much they value your time, 3) call centers (off-shore and/or in the Deep South, using, 4) under-skilled front line representatives (less expensive than the technicians to whom the calls are ultimately escalated).

Today’s call started with an “anticipated hold time of three and one-half minutes”. It lasted ten during which I was told nine times how much they appreciate my business. I was transferred four times before getting to a wonderful, helpful, understanding individual who needed to transfer me one more time to the specific-product/service group…

It’s an hour later. I think I might have completed the business that I called about an hour ago (although I won’t be certain until they phone back and confirm they have all the needed paperwork).

Technology should be able to make this process less annoying (Build it into Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana!) and “C” staff should call their customer service centers on a regular basis to experience what their customers experience. The world would be a nicer place – IMHO.

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