Is your phone menu screwing you?

I finally have it. The idea that will make me my first million. A pad that affixes to the side of my computer screen that I can punch repeatedly when I encounter an idiot by phone, web, or mail. It would not only be a great stress reliever, but a wonderful way to protect my computer screen.
      I would have punched it into tatters today after my dealings with a cd manufacturer that I was hoping to use to make my next batch of cds. Poor price point? nope, bad attitude by the sales rep? nope, inferior product? nope. What, you ask, could have set you off and down the road to senseless violence?… a crappy phone menu. We have all trudged through the maze of press 1 for accounting, press 2 for sales, press 3 for I am pissing my customers off by wasting their time with this attempt to avoid serving them with a live person, but this one takes the “Press 4 for cake”. It took me over two minutes to finally reach the menu option that allowed me to enter the name of the person with whom I needed to speak, and only after I was given the number for maintenance. So what’s the point? I teach that one of the 5 traction points in an effective customer relationship is empathy. Customers want their supplier to identify with their pains, problems, concerns or fears. This traction point can be avoided altogether if companies would stop causing the pain before the transaction even takes place.
         Like most married men with children, I look for opportunities to take a vacation with my wife AWAY from the kids. Do I need to explain? Ironically, it was a couple of those “little vacations” that were responsible for the kids in the first place. Those opportunities don’t happen as often as we would like, so we take them when we can. Like most married men who are slipping away for a weekend with his wife, I like to set myself up for success. I make a reservation at a nice restaurant and hotel. I may even have a bottle of champagne chilling in the room when we arrive. Flowers always set the tone for a lovely evening. My chances for success would be significantly diminished, however,  if I called ahead to the hotel and had housekeeping mess up the bed, throw a wet towel on the bathroom floor and scatter the room with my dirty underwear. “Oh, while you’re at it housekeeping, use the toilet and don’t flush”.
     When you set the tone for a customer interaction with a drawn out phone menu, uncomfortable waiting rooms, unclean facility, or laborious administrative processes, you are defying one of the most basic traction points for an extraordinary customer relationship, CONVENIENCE. Stop making it hard for me to give you my money. If you want to understand how your customers feel when doing business with you, call your own voicemail, or phone system.  Mystery shop your business and you will discover what it is like to do business with you. Walk a mile in your customers shoes.


  1. Where, oh where can you reach Carol? on June 12, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    How could anyone say anything to this except “AMEN!”

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