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Feb 25, 201311:57 AMThe Gray Area

with Donna Gray

If you want to speak to a duck, press …

If you want to speak to a duck, press …

(page 1 of 2)

These days, we all know the drill when we hear that “friendly” automated voice that says something like, “You have reached XYZ Company. No one is available to take your call. We are all partying in the break room. If you’re thinking that you might like to do a lot of business with us, leave your name and number and we might call you back. If this is just an inquiry, then it’s your tough luck! If you really are intent on speaking to a real person, try pressing all possible combinations of numbers and you could get lucky. And if you want to speak to a duck, press 0.”

These days, it’s easy to get caught in this kind of voice-mail “jail.” Automation can be very helpful. The operative words here, with regard to good customer service, are “can be.” And if you do manage to make a connection, a “voice” might tell you, “This call may be recorded for training purposes.” Okay. Have on with it. Training is really needed here, especially in the customer service arena. We don’t want to “press 0 to speak to a duck.”

I, like many of you, want a real person picking up the phone. Of course, emergencies allow for “automated attendants,” but in my book, emergencies aren’t, “I don’t want to be interrupted.”

Most of us do not have the time or the patience to wait on hold while we wait for the right “customer service representative” to rise to our challenge of actually wanting to do business. I don’t think customers, or prospective customers, should be kept on hold for more than 30 seconds. Either answer a question within 30 seconds or call them back.

Have you ever noticed how many times there’s a transfer to a “different department” or “another representative.” I don’t think a customer should have to talk to more than two people for assistance. The person who answers should “direct your call” to the person who can solve your problem, answer your questions, or take your order and make your day!

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