Don’t Care About Your Customer? Please Press “0″

Yesterday I published a post about the dangers of making your customers wait. Read it here.

My dear friend, and loyal reader, Mark Walker of Integrity Solutions, wrote me back on this with his thoughts. His full note is published below (with his permission).

Here is a pet peeve of mine regarding “waiting.” Ever try to call someone to see if they might be a prospect for your goods or services? You get their automated attendant. After listening to the menu (one minute+) you don’t hear a suitable option. So you press “0” and the automated attendant starts all over. You get into a “loop” which will never end. All options lead back to the automated attendant system, not a live person.

What is the message here? “If you don’t know the phone or extension number of the person you want, buzz off! Quit bothering us.”

I always recommend that every CEO in the world call his company about once every two months, as if he is a prospective customer or supplier. Try to reach someone who 1) is alive and 2) is genuinely helpful. Today I pressed “0” after hearing the empty promise of my target that he “would return my call promptly.” (He has not done so.) A nice woman answered. I asked her if this person was out of the office, or if there was a time of day it was best to try to reach him. She did not know, but attempted to find out. She was respectful and courteous, and she came back on the line and admitted that she was also unsuccessful.

While I still don’t respect my target person’s “promise” to return my call, I know that his employer cares enough to hire someone as a receptionist who is interested in helping people who call their organization. And here’s the key idea. While I am not a prospective customer, I can feel comfortable suggesting to someone that this company could be a reliable supplier of their appropriate goods and services.

You never want people to think poorly of you, unnecessarily. That sales person trying to reach your purchasing department might be the daughter of a potential major account CEO.

Right on Mark. Thanks for taking the time to write me back on this.

What do you think?

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  • http://www.sliqueproductions.com Vicky Schroeder

    The get caught in the “0″ loop happened to me this week. You would think in this economic climate companies would be savvy enough to answer their calls. Perhaps the luxury of automation has gone to our societies heads…

  • Anonymous

    It blows my mind that companies still rely on this system. Especially when they should know the Zappos success story, you know?

  • http://www.sliqueproductions.com Vicky Schroeder

    The get caught in the “0″ loop happened to me this week. You would think in this economic climate companies would be savvy enough to answer their calls. Perhaps the luxury of automation has gone to our societies heads…

  • tschnick

    It blows my mind that companies still rely on this system. Especially when they should know the Zappos success story, you know?