Play It Again, SamPlay It Again, Sam

Play It Again, Sam

by Connie H. Deutsch

Several years ago, when you called your bank or credit card company and you were put on hold, there was nice elevator music playing while you waited to be connected to a live representative. When the music stopped, it was a sign that a representative was being connected to you.

No one likes being put on hold while waiting to speak to someone who can answer your questions or resolve your problems but I'd rather hear the ongoing music than to hear a recorded message telling you every 30 or 40 seconds, "We are currently experiencing higher than normal call volume and apologize for the delay."

The first time I heard that outgoing message, I thought they must be having a very busy day and so I waited patiently. And then I thought that they must be having a very busy week and I'd look at my calendar to see if anything about that week corresponded to a national holiday. And then, after a month of hearing the same annoying outgoing message, I'd wonder why they didn't just hire more people to man their call center.

This is now several years later and nothing has changed. Wherever I call, I'm put on hold and that same annoying outgoing recorded message plays every 30 or 40 seconds, and then it tells us about all their services . . . over and over and over and over . . .

I'd much rather go back to hearing elevator music while I wait. At least then I could read a book or do my bookkeeping, or work on some other project instead of hearing a grating voice apologizing for the delay.

It still doesn't make sense to me why companies don't hire more representatives to man the call centers so that customers don't have to wait to speak to a representative. I know the powers that be think they are saving money by having recorded messages putting customers on hold, but I doubt if that is sound reasoning.

When I have a busy schedule and I'm put on hold, I often hang up and make the next call on my list. If I'm looking to buy something and I'm put on hold, I'll call another store and buy it from that one.

It remains to be seen how much money companies are losing by using these automated messages while frustrated customers shop elsewhere.
I'm inclined to think that the money they are saving by not hiring extra employees might not compensate for the lost revenue of customers going elsewhere.

by Connie H. Deutsch
References and Bibliography

Author of:Whispers of the Soul, A Slice of Life, From Where I'm Sitting, View from the Sidelines, Purple Days & Starry Nights, Here & There, And That's How it Goes & The Counseling Effect. http://www.conniehdeutsch.com/ ConnieHDeutsch Articles

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