A MESSAGE FOR ROBOTIC CALLERS AND IDIOTIC ANSWERING MACHINES:
By: Jake Jakubuwski
Copyright, 2012. All rights reserved
Personally, I DETEST auto answering devices and robotic voices telling me how important my call is — and then telling me that all “service representatives are currently busy with other customers and your call will be answered in the order in which it was received.” Great shades of Ernestine!
My thoughts on the matter: I also know these ideas could be considered self-centered and maybe even arrogant. No doubt, if you’re inclined to be kind, you’ll simply consider my thinking archaic.
I am THE customer. I am the person that keeps you in business. Therefore, I think you owe me more consideration then a robotic voice, a verbal holding pattern and some idiotic “live” talk show excerpt while I am waiting to CONDUCT business with you! I certainly don’t want a “Push for” menu regarding how I want to spend my time waiting, when what I want to do is spend my money with you and not waste my time because of you.
I am either trying to spend money with your company, or I am trying to resolve an issue that I have had with a purchase of goods or services from your company. For some reason, robotic voices telling me that someone will be with me as quickly as possible does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. It does not increase my confidence/convenience quotient regarding my experience with your firm.
Even more irksome is when “The Voice” asks me for information. Stuff like; “If you are calling in reference to __________ please give me your zip code, telephone number, the last four digits of your Social Security Number, you mother’s maiden name, your father’s middle initial, the serial and model number of the item you are inquiring about, the store number and date where it was purchased, or will be purchased and; the size of the speakers in the last boom box you saw!”
Then when a “representative” does connect with me the first thing they say is: “Hi! My name is __________, please give me your zip code, telephone number, etc.” And, all of that takes place before I can even begin to place an order or register a complaint.
Then, God forbid! I get transferred to “Stacy” and Stacy asks me the same questions all over. This, in my opinion, is not marketing. It is a devilish program designed to make me take my business elsewhere, or cause me so much frustration trying to solve a warranty issue that I’ll throw the $%(*@## item away and buy a new one in a brick-and-mortar-store! I often wonder if the companies that resort to these tactics actually do have a desire to drive customers away…
I understand voice mail. I use it myself when I have to be out of contact with customers, potential customers or contemporaries. My message is short and sweet: I’m not here. I will be back. Leave a number and I’ll call you when I return. No music, no radio, no sound effects and no “dead air.”
nd, when I am “in the office”, I answer the phone! Essentially, I say something like: “Hello” or “Hi! This is Jake!” Recently, I had a caller say: “Wow! You actually answer your own phone?”
I may be in the minority but, when I answer the phone and that robotic voice says: “Please, hold. I have a very important call for you…” Or, “Let’s take a cruise!” (With a fog horn in the background) — I hang up! I also hang up when I answer the phone and a chirpy, smiley voice says: “Hi! I’m Audrey…How’s the weather this morning inOxford?”
So; How can your on-hold message provide an opportunity for you to market to me? It can’t.
Consequently, I suggest that you make it brief and forget asking me for information that I’m going to have to repeat to a “real” person anyway. Oh! Yeah! Did I mention this? Require a real person to answer the danged call after thirty seconds — max! Then you don’t have to worry about a sales message during the on-hold time…
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