Listen Closely As Our Options Have Changed

Sometimes I wonder if companies listen to themselves. Do you think most companies have looked at their service or product through the consumer’s eyes?

Shouldn’t there be someone on every organization’s staff that thinks through some of their policies and protocols so they can assess if it even makes sense?

Is There a Flow Chart for Stupid?Flow chart

An elderly woman died last week when a nurse on staff at a nursing home in California who had called 911 after the woman collapsed and stopped breathing  refused to give the woman CPR. Although she is a nurse, a policy was put in place that stated she wasn’t allowed to do this possibly life-saving procedure.

Think about that for a second. Someone in a position of power actually thought it would be a good idea to not allow someone employed at a nursing home to provide life saving efforts to a dying person.  

Something tells me their list of “new leads” at that facility might dry up for the next few weeks.

The following examples certainly aren’t life or death but they might make you shake your head in disbelief or perhaps even in agreement if you’ve “been there and experienced that”. How about… 

  • the automated telephone system that asks you to listen carefully because “our options have changed.” 

Really, how long ago?  I called last week for the same stupid problem that I’m calling about now so I really doubt you’ve had time to rearrange your phone system when you haven’t even figured out how to make sure your DVR box doesn’t need rebooting.  I can’t even remember to change my voice mail when I leave for vacation yet every major corporation in America has time to update their phone message system?

  • A voice message that says they’re “experiencing high call volumes” and “hold times may be lengthy.”

Maybe one way to avoid that would be to train your call center operators to listen to the customer’s issue and solve it without having to place them on hold every three minutes to “check with a supervisor.”

  • A voice message that sends customers through fifteen levels of prompts only to inform the caller that the customer service department is now closed and to call back during business hours.

If that’s the case, ask the last person out on Friday night to not only turn off the lights but change the voice mail to just say “We’re closed. Call us back on Monday.” It would save everyone some time…and frustration.

  • A customer service representative that cannot help you so they have to elevate your issue to the mysterious “Level 2.”

Sadly, this added level of technical knowledge is usually in some location that is impossible for someone at Level 1 to transfer you to so you end up disconnected and having to start over again. 

  • A hospital billing department that overcharges a customer then saying it will take 4-6 weeks to get the reimbursement check sent.

It certainly doesn’t take them that long to submit a delinquent payment to collections. Maybe the reimbursement department could learn something about urgency from the collections department.

  • An email opt out program that requires you to resubmit your email and then choose a box stating that you’re abolutely positive that you want to be removed from their mailing list that you never remember signing up for in the first place.

I think that’s why sometimes it is just easier to hit “delete” than it is to go through the hoops to “unsubscribe.”

I actually got my third email in the last 6 days from a law firm promoting a Corporate Compliance Seminar that I have no interest in. I followed their instructions to reply with DELETE in the subject line yet I can’t seem to get them to COMPLY with their own policies. Seriously? Where is Alanis Morrisette when you need her?

While I am on the topic of email opt-out policies, why would it possibly take 15 days to remove an email from a mailing list? Are you telling me I could find a book at the Library of Congress quicker using the Dewey Decimal System than you could search a digital database using “Ctrl F” to find “Carpenter”? I don’t believe that.

  • A website password system that requires you to choose a capital letter, a lower case letter and a number to avoid hackers from accessing your info yet still allows you to use Password1234 as a valid option.

If you’re truly interested in protecting our security, tell people they need to try harder than that.

Keep Calm & Carry On

Do your clients have to jump through any of these silly hoops to work with you? What have you done to make sure the home buying or home selling process is as easy as possible for your clients and customers?

How quickly are you responding to inquiries from current clients? What is your system or policy that you have in place for internet leads to be responded to promptly and then nurtured until they are ready to buy or sell?

If someone wanted to reach you, can they find your information if they search Google? How about social media sites using just your name or company? What about your local company website or national brand site?

Are you seeking people’s permissions to include them in your marketing? Are you listening to your clients wants and needs so you are providing information that is interesting, entertaining or of value?

Some companies make it difficult for a customer to give feedback because they don’t want to hear complaints but they have also made it difficult for people to leave positive remarks too. If I wanted to tell your boss or company owner how awesome you are, is his or her name and contact information available through your company website?

We’re in a service business. Let’s make it easy for people to be served.

And if nothing you do will satisfy your customers and you just want to find a way to lose them, you can always send them to Level 2 for help.

That works every time.



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