Your Call Is Important To Us…

It’s been a while… I’ve had an uplifting post in mind. Really.

Unfortunately for you, I’m a bit cranky, so you’re stuck with a rant in which I’m going to channel my inner David Meerman Scott.

(This is not to suggest that Mr. Scott is cranky – I don’t know him. But, in Real-Time Marketing & PR, he calls out those horrible automated phone attendant systems about which I’m going to bend your ear.)

I’ve spent the last couple of weeks trying to solve a problem of poor cellular coverage in my house. My work situation has changed whereby it’s very important that my phone works indoors.

My wireless carrier sells a device called a network extender. It’s a femtocell. Or, in plan English, a mini-cell tower in the home which connects to an Internet connection to give full-bar coverage. Sweet!

The thing works like a charm. When it works.

Problem is, at a certain point during calls, the other party won’t be able to hear me even though I can hear them. And, when I hang up to redial, I can’t get my call to connect unless I power cycle the phone. Not good.

So I’ve done what every helpless (hapless?) customer winds up doing: waiting on hold for support.

And listening to the endless, idiotic hold music + infomercial + ironic intonation, “Your call is important to us…”

Which, after 40-minutes of the same crap, moves one to write a blog post.

It begs the question: If my call IS so important, why don’t you answer it?

Clearly, Verizon knows why I am calling because I have previously spent time with their tech support. (The nifty phone tree inquired whether I was calling about the network extender)

But, seriously, I’m not interested in upgrading my smartphone. In fact, Verizon, if you can’t address my needs, I’m going to switch to another carrier!

As a side note, I had the privilege of contacting my cable provider as well. Yeah, it’s been a banner week and it’s only Wednesday!

Another struggle. The phone tree dumped me to someone who could not help with my Internet connection, only television. So, back into the queue after having to enter my credentials again. Only to have to share again with the CSR because it didn’t get passed to his terminal. Sigh…

I recently saw a commercial for Ally, a bank that promises that customers can talk to a live person 24-hours a day. I wonder whether that means without the hold times?

Here’s the deal. Like many, I prefer to find information and solve problems online. Some organizations are very good at providing online support. And chat.

But when we have to call for help, why can’t organizations be smarter and more responsive about handling customer calls?

Route calls to someone who doesn’t have to transfer me multiple times so I wind up waiting all over again.

And when I call back, presumably with the still-unresolved problem, give my call some priority.

Lastly, tailor your hold messages to the situation and stop patronizing me with hollow promises about how important my call and business is – prove it!

There, I feel a little better…

Are any readers finding good customer support experiences? Horror stories? Tell me about it!

(Image: Sybren A. Stüvel)

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