Last week I called my credit union to discuss the loan I have with them. I was caught off guard when a woman answered the phone on the second ring. She didn’t route my call to another department. She didn’t take a message and promise to have someone else return my call. She didn’t send me off into voicemail hell.
She listened to my question and solved my problem in under two minutes.
I wasn’t prepared for this.
I’ve been conditioned to expect a voicemail tree created to wear me down. I’m accustomed to reaching the correct department but outside of their office hours. I’m used to leaving a voicemail in what feels like a black hole to nowhere.
Contrast this to the experience I had calling my mortgage company where I’m asked for my account number before reaching a human. By the time I was able to reach someone who could help me, I’d given my address, phone number, date of birth and last 4 digits of my Social Security number FOUR TIMES.
I understand that the economic climate dictates that companies need to cut back, and support positions are often the first to go. It may seem like a no brainer replacing your receptionist with phone tree system, but you miss an opportunity to connect with your customers if you do. And in the long run, that’s a bad business move.
I’m going look for opportunities to support companies that aren’t erecting conversation barriers. Companies like my credit union who answer the phone instead of forcing me into an automated system.
It’s the human connection that matters. Even if it costs a little more.