Voice Messages

Voice Messages

What ever happened to the human voice?  You know the one you almost never hear when you call any kind of business or organization these days?  Yes, that one.

I used to love calling West Jet.  You used to get an actual human being on the phone and they were upbeat, polite and ready to take your call.  When you call there these days you hear a recorded voice and the first thing it (it, not “he” or “she”) says is, “Thank you for calling West Jet.”  Thank you?  Really?  You’re so appreciative of me calling that you can’t even let me speak to a real person?  Then, I hear push 1 for this and push 2 for that… push 3 if you want this and push 4 if you want that.  I wish they had a “push 5.”  It should say, “Push 5 if you want us to shove one of our 737s up our ass!”

And, it’s not just West Jet that’s gone that route.  It’s also Air Canada, Bell Canada, Hydro One, Canadian Tire, East Link, Shaw Digital, my doctor’s office, my bank, city hall, the library, the local swimming pool, and even most of the good restaurants these days.  STOP!

There are a bunch of reasons why I really, really hate recorded answering messages at any kind of business or organization.  And, before get rolling here I’ll offer this – yes, I do have a voice message on my phone.  But, I’m not running a business with my personal phone.

At least in most instances, when I call a company I normally have a simple question that could be answered quickly, like “What time are you open until this evening?”  That phone call should last five seconds.  Therefore, I do not want to sit through all this bullshit about push 1 for this and push 2 for that!  (I wish I could hack into their messaging system and add one of my own.  “Hey, company, push 4 if you want to kiss my ass!”)   And, I don’t need the address or directions on how to get to the place nor do I wish to “go on line” (another one of my vein popping pet peeves) and fill out a customer satisfaction survey, all of these options of which I must listen to before I get to the part of the incredibly long message that finally pertains to the reason for my call.

I think it is incredibly horrible customer service to have someone (a potential customer or an already paying customer) to call a place of business and have them sit there and wait… and wait… and wait.  It’s not just an annoyance it’s also really shitty service.  Then, while we’re waiting through all the useless and often times redundant options, something goes wrong and – wait for it – we get cut off.  “FUCK!”  Start all over.

I believe many companies go the voice messaging route for two reasons.  One, to save money because they don’t have to hire someone (an actual person) to handle the main thrust of the phone calls.  However, I think they’d make a lot more money by providing better service by having an ACTUAL PERSON ON THE PHONE!  The other reason I believe they do it, is because voice messaging is everywhere these days so companies that used to have a person on the phone think that since everyone else is doing it, they might as well too.  They think it’s kind of in fashion in today’s marketplace and even more professional.  Come on!

Do us all a favour, (and do your bottom line a favour too) if you run a business or organization, put people back on the phone lines!  Hey, you’ll even be creating a few jobs that way.  Wouldn’t that be a shame…

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