Customer Service – An Oxymoron

I’ve been waiting on hold for an hour.

The electric company sent a 106-page bill that reads like Chinese physics. So, I need to speak with a human being to sort it out. Meanwhile, a robotic voice apologizes for the delay and assures me ‘your call is important to us’. Thanks, but if I was truly important, they’d hire more operators.  

Author John Naisbitt warned about balancing high-tech with high-touch. To view technology through a human lens and be responsive. Seems that most companies missed that memo. Sadly, the new normal is to expect poor service and be shocked when someone actually helps.

I’m dating myself. But, I remember when gas station attendants would pump gas, clean windshields and check the oil. Nordstrom would accept returns on clothes that people bought at other stores. They paid it forward.

Serving the customer, what a concept.

Here’s my take: When did companies take their customer service cues from the DMV?

Look, I understand the efficiency of automation and driving callers through an excruciating menu of options. It’s like navigating through a labyrinth worthy of Indiana Jones.

If customers are truly king, why not make it a positive experience? Make us feel like a priority, not an afterthought. Instead, the prevailing attitude seems to be: Figure it out for yourself. And good luck reaching a live person. They’re unicorns.

Customer service is a lost art with many companies. But not all. Some truly deserve recognition. Props to Trader Joes, Disney, GoDaddy, LL Bean and Allbirds for the extra effort. Please recommend others.

So, the race is on to…Wait, I think someone is picking up.

Damn! They dropped my call!


Beau Phillips is President of Rainmaker Media. 
He’s a creative marketing consultant, strategist and speaker.
Reach him at 203-256-9347 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *