Off the Hook

Well, now there’s a service that you can pay for to enable an undercover behavior you may have been doing for free. A new technology called Slydial allows you to direct your phone messages directly into someone’s cellphone voicemail so you don’t risk talking to them live. “Why?,” you say? You’ve never called someone after hours with the secret prayer that they wouldn’t pick up, so that you could leave the “I’m late, I’m sorry, I don’t want to” message and avoid a drawn-out conversation or possible recrimination?  

Let’s face it—thanks to a culture of bad customer service, most of us choose to avoid human contact and look at E-ZPass, self-checkout and online shopping as godsends. But in a world where we love the sound of our own voices, posting personal videos or blogging to perfect strangers (like right now), it’s funny that we shy away from hearing opinions in return.  Saying our piece is easy. Listening to someone else is hard. 

It makes me understand how challenging it can be for some marketers to feel comfortable in our research sessions, face to face with consumers. Behind the two way mirror, there’s comfort; the food’s better. But most of all, back there, without the risk of being confronted by female consumers, you can keep the listening under control and check your BlackBerry instead. Sort of like leaving her a voicemail about your brand and hoping she likes it when she picks it up in store. If only it were that easy to get off the hook.

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November 27, 2020
by Mary Lou Quinlan

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