It is never a good decision to give customers just one way to get in touch. There are times when an email is best – you don’t want to hang around on hold listening to the same song over and over, and it’s not that urgent anyway.
Sometimes a quick phone call is all it needs, then you can stop worrying and know that everything is sorted.
Can technology reduce the amount of time we spend waiting on the phone?
And sometimes, yes even in this digital age, a letter is what is needed. I recently sent a letter to a company telling them what a good member of staff they had. It’s rare, but it does happen.
It’s irritating to say the least when a company is faceless. Take eBay for instance. How do you get in touch with someone just to explain a situation? It took me too long to find a number. I am certain that this is no accident.
We all have to deal with the endless phone queues though. As I write, I have been listening to the same ‘thank you for waiting, we will answer your call as soon as possible’ for over 15 minutes. All I want is a new PIN number. It’s not even an account I use much. Please, why is there no online contact form that I can just fill out and they can send me a new one?
Banks, council offices, utility companies, doctors surgeries, dentists… why is there no easy way to contact them? You’d think, in this day and age, they would have figured out that the longer they keep us waiting, the less likely they will be to get a polite and understanding customer on the end of the line?
There has to be a solution to this problem. Internet chat has come the closest for me, except at the point when they are clearly reading from a script – or when the problem is far from solved and they say ‘is there anything else I can help you with today?’
Surely technology can help with this. We are supposed to be in an age of global communication, and I have to wait twenty minutes to speak to someone in a bank I could have crawled to in this time.
*Note – 35 minutes and I gave up. What a way to make an issue out of something so routine!