Please listen carefully as your customers have changed

I didn’t write most of the headline. Credit for that goes to David Myron in his Editor’s Letter of Speech Technology Magazine. (I’m hoping he won’t mind me tweaking it here to suit my purposes).

Have you noticed? Your customers have changed. What used to work so well to connect with customers 5-10 years ago is no longer effective. If you really want to know what’s going on, watch Michael Drew present the 40 Year Pendulum presentation at TedX Calgary.

So what does this have to do with phone systems?

Your customer’s expectations have changed from wondering what you can tell them, to demanding you give them the information they need this instant. Social media, cell phones, text messaging, push email, and IM have all increased the speed at which we consume information. This leads to less patience, and more knowledge. Customers no longer care what you think, and how you want to present it.

Instead, they are asking: Why should I care?

Caller’s are quick to tune out, and one of the most frustrating phrases you can tell them is: Please listen carefully, as our menu options have changed.

“Really?” says your customer, “I’ve heard that everytime I’ve called, and frankly, you’re wasting my time.”

Melanie Polkosky, Ph.D, a social-cognitive psychologist and speech language pathologist, has this to say about the oft-heard phrase:

Never open with platitudes: It only signals antagonism for the listener to utter something as trite as, Please listen carefully as our options have changed. The listener is more apt to roll his eyes in exasperation and stop listening altogether. It creates atmosphere for your interaction, no more positive than a book that begins, “It was a dark and stormy night.”

Well said Melanie, well said.

Is your phone system making this same mistake? We can help evaluate your Caller Experience. Go ahead…you may be surprised at what your callers are putting up with!

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