Customer Service – Be Careful What You Automate

Few companies will argue that that customer service is important.  We see messages relating to the importance of customers appear in mission statements, value statements, and strategic plans on a regular basis.

Yet, when you call these same companies, too often you reach not a customer sensitive employee, but instead an automated voice response unit or VRU.  These marvels of efficiency creating technology are happy to give you a wealth of choices – often without an obvious or expedient option to talk to a real person.  Worse, when you actually discover the secret code, you get a very pleasant voice sharing with you that ‘due to high call volume, your call will be answered in ____ minutes.”  Sometimes the wait time is short, others not so short.  My favorite was the company that shared how important I was as a customer and that the anticipated wait time was FORTY MINUTES.  Then to add insult to injury, their hold message was bragging about their recent prestigious award for customer service!

Yes, reducing costs and increasing efficiencies is important.  But, be sure you understand the REAL message you deliver to your customers by your service or lack of it.

As you can see in this humorous clip from my friend Dave Griffiths  (@Bensonix on Twitter) automatons don’t make the best customer service agents or tech support staff.

Thanks for stopping by.  Stay Tuned…

Joan Koerber-Walker

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