So I’m on the phone the other day, seriously, the whole other day, trying to get to a live voice to complain about this or that, or get something hooked up, fixed or discontinued…see, I was on so long I forgot what I was trying to do. Is that their plan?
Many of these companies have gotten smart (they couldn’t have gotten any dumber) and they no longer let you just hit zero to get to an operator or customer service until you’ve listened to the never-ending list of options and menus and these lists have grown exponentially over the years. It doesn’t help that the company has 137 customer service lines…all feeding to one little old lady who’s furiously trying to finish crocheting those booties before her 9th great-grandchild is born. And she can’t spell router much less tell you how to fix it. I fly through the first option because English is the default language although I’m wondering if it might not be quicker if I picked Spanish because they generally talk faster, or maybe Taki Taki because they only have 340 words in the whole damned language. According to the Global Language Monitor, as of January, English has 1,025,109.8 words and I’m thinking…crap, by the time this call is over, I will have heard them all. I’m also a little confused about the .8. What’s 8/10ths of a word? Shi_?
Another thing that doesn’t work anymore is to try and trick the computer voice. Used to be, if the auto-system wanted your zip code for example, instead of saying 91331 you could say, “banana, ford, penguin, creek, burp” and the system would have some kind of mini-stroke and finally say, “let me find someone who can assist you.” Man, those were the days.
These days, between every canned list of options you get several seconds of music so bad it makes you yearn for an elevator and it’s all I can do to keep from shoving a pencil in my ear. Really, you want to walk into a dentist’s office just to hear what you never thought was music. The music they’re playing now can put you in a coma and you have to be careful because if you nod off and miss the next list, it disconnects you and you have to call again and start over. Also, some of the automated systems still need a little fine-tuning because it doesn’t seem to understand a word I say. I said, “nine” and the auto-voice came back with, “Did you say…April?” I tried again and said, “nine” and the computer said, “I’m not sure I understand. Did you say…camel?”
The worst part of these new systems though is they, in addition to making you listen to the list of options, make you pick one and then enter some personal information. After I’ve indicated that English is fine with me I have to enter a user id (which I can’t remember) and on the next list I have to pick an option and enter my zip code and next I have to pick an option and enter the last 4 of my social. It’s bad now but it gets worse when I have to remember my first pet or the name of my 4th grade teacher. When I was in the 4th grade I think the president was Eisenhower but I can’t remember that for sure, so how am I supposed to remember my teacher’s name? Even though my pet was a Galapagos tortoise, he’s been gone a long time now and how am I supposed to remember I named him…Speedy?
What is even worse now is the “online chat.” This is where people pretend to be talking to you while they’re playing Words with Friends or looking for a real job. I usually end up with a guy named Rahcuizzxol who says he’s in Boise but let’s just say…I’m a little suspicious. Maybe because I’ve just spent the morning going through all the menu options and answered the questions just to get to him and he starts asking me the same questions I’ve already answered, but with an accent that doesn’t sound like Idaho. So now I’ve answered the same set of questions to a computer and what I think is a human but neither of them can get it right. It’s like I’m talking to Speedy. Companies say they’ve added these options so they can get us to “just the right person to handle your issue” but by the time you get to them…they’ve left for the day. I know other people have problems and I’m not a selfish guy. I’m willing to wait my turn but when I finally get to a live voice, I don’t want to talk to someone who’s only highlight on their resume is…reform school.
It’s not really that different in business. IMC doesn’t have music on hold because we want to talk to you and we have processes in place to assemble your order just right with a minimum of questions. We have thousands of products useful for many programs, events and holidays during the year so you can always find the perfect promotion for any season. We know when these holidays are celebrated so we make sure to have stock so we can fill your order. And if your client has invented a holiday or celebration, we can also custom-make almost anything you can dream to make your client’s event all it can be. And we know you want exactly what you’ve ordered so we do everything we can to learn that order and help you look good to your customers. Take a look at our YouTube channel to see some videos showcasing popular products for some ideas on how to use them. We take our business relationship seriously and we want you to enjoy, give and receive our products and be able to use them every day. We look forward to working with you and we always have ideas to make our products work for your clients. You can also request our 2014 catalog on the Catalog page of our website and order some. And all of our new items are visible in thesection of our website. The 2014 IMC catalog is also available virtually at Zoomcatalog.com if you’re tired of fighting paper catalogs. It can be viewed nicely with your laptop, iPad, tablet or phone. IMC is the recognized leader in the introduction of new retail brands to the promotional product industry and has multiple design awards from both ASI and PPAI. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented more than 40 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. See great ideas and items from the Troika, Finelife, Umbraand Orangebag. We invite you to browse any of our 2,500+ products on the IMC website to see items suitable for any occasion or event and pieces you can use to personalize your relationship with your clients. We have promotional products for every event, show, convention, corporate store and company program that will keep your client looking to you for new ideas. What do you think? Let us know with a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter. IMC wants to know…would you rather be on hold?