To Have and NOT to Hold
Today’s New York Times article lauded the arrival of the Holy Grail: Lucy Phone, a technology that answers the perennial consumer scream “WHY AM I ON HOLD SO LONG?” Customers who truly hate automated systems will rejoice to know that now they’ve got a button of their own that forces the company to call you back, rather than waste your time. I know that there are already businesses who do this themselves, inviting you to press whatever # and an operator will return your call. But Lucy puts the choice in consumers’ hands. (One scary side note in the piece is that the Twitter universe is fanning consumer rage, with hoards of on-hold folks banding together to gang up on companies…sort of a mass citizens’ arrest. Something to keep an eye on.)
Meanwhile, thanks to services like Lucy, I was thinking of all the phone messages that soon may be a thing of the past.
“Your call is important to us. Please hold.” (If it is, then why don’t you answer now?)
“All customer service representatives are currently speaking with other customers. Please hold.”
(in other words, “other customers” who are more important to you than I am.)
“This call may be monitored for quality by our customer service specialists.”
(really, when has anyone ever interrupted your frustrated profanity as you watch the waiting minutes drag by? )
Go, Lucy, go! You’ll not only save waiting customers’ needless anxiety and wasted minutes, you might even save some companies the money lost to customers’ exasperation…and defection.
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