“But your call is very important to us. We will be with you shortly.” Then your call goes into a deep hole. The voice message while you are waiting an inordinate amount of time tells you many things the company wants you to know before ever getting to the reason for your call. “If this is a life-threatening emergency hang up and call 911.” (Would someone with a life-threatening emergency really call the doctor’s office and not 911?!)
Customer service has long been a value of mine. How a business serves its customers should be a focus of businesses now more than ever before. The pandemic has wrought havoc on many businesses, closing many that will never reopen. Those that continue to evolve with the times and serve their customers well can be even stronger than ever before. But not by rote phone messages that frustrate their customers before they even get to a live voice.
If you are a business owner or a businessperson, it is important to think for your customers. What is important to them? Call your own business and hear the message your customers hear, and how long it takes to get to a live voice, if ever. Consider the feelings that are generated by the message you hear on the phone. Is it inviting? Is it informative? How long are you kept on hold, and is the amount of time acceptable?
Time is our most valuable resource, and even in the time of a global pandemic, we are not tolerant of businesses that waste our time. Think about Amazon, and how easy it is to purchase something from Amazon. I realize that many people do not want to shop with Amazon, in part because of the negative impact Amazon has on local small businesses. I am not making the point that we should shop with Amazon, just that when we do it is easy and quick. Easy and quick is something that more businesses could model.
“We will be with you in a moment.” Then, we go into the deep dark hole again and wait.