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No Communications with Communications Companies? How Ironic…

No Communications with Communications Companies? How Ironic…

No Communications with Communications Companies? How Ironic…

 
I read with interest recent publicity regarding the near impossible challenge of dealing with Telcos over the phone.
 
Whether it is a billing enquiry or a call for support, we have all become to accustomed to the ritual.
 
The automated answering system generally wastes ½ an hour of our time. During which period other products and services are promoted and we are constantly reminded just how important our call is to them.
 
Hogwash!
 
My good friend and mentor “Dead Martin” (Hewitt) predicted this back in the early 1990s.
 
Dead Martin founded and ran a data communications company – “Jaguar Communications PLC” that I joined in the spring of 1988. Working initially in a beautiful Victorian Mansion, called The Limes, in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, UK, I quickly learned of Dead’s obsession with customer service for which there were many exemplary manifestations of good practice.
 
One in particular stands out – the telephone answering protocol. Renate, who operated the reception desk was the principle responsibility for answering in bound telephone calls. However, the system was programmed to automatically forward the inbound call to all available phones in company if not answered within two rings.
 
Woe betide you if a further three rings were heard by Dead Martin and you were seen to be ignoring the call!
 
Even if he intervened and answered himself, he would still fly into an apoplectic rage demanding to know, “Who in Jaguar Communications considers themselves so important as to keep a customer waiting on the telephone”.
 
Dead Martin was right.
 
Imagine his horror whereupon following business expansion it was elected to move the firm from the glory of The Limes to an ultra-modern office block. Moving was not a problem, rather it was the decision to install an automated answering telephone system that perplexed the poor man, who was adamant that humans prefer to talk to humans.
 
He challenged down the full automation and dictated that the opening robot message be programmed as follows:
 
“Welcome to Jaguar Communications. If at any time you wish to speak to an operator please press 1. However, for faster routing of your call, please press 2 for support, 3 for sales, 4 for accounts, etc.”
 
Regular callers did appreciate the direct forwarding of calls (notwithstanding the golden ring rule still applied) but others frequently elected for the human option.
 
We live in a world where organisations are too focused upon efficiency and savings at the expense of the customer experience.
 
We would all do well to consider Dead Martin’s wisdom from beyond the grave – Airfibre does!
 
All Airfibre customers have direct mobile numbers and email addresses for any staff member (including directors) they require. We investigate any instance of poor response through the ‘manned’ switchboard (seldom happens) and encourage customers to call/email direct if they have issues.
 
It is not a perfect world, but we refuse to make matters worse by hiding behind machines.

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