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Ode To Customer Service

  |  December 24, 1998   |  Comments

Consultant Jim Sterne doesn't just get mad when he's subjected to poor customer service online...he gets downright poetic. Read the ClickZ bard waxing eloquent on the subject in this special holiday ode.

I have a little problem, so I call you on the phone. I'm given numbered options - to punch them each by tone. After hitting number 7, then 2, 8, 6 and pound, a short recording tells me no operators can be found. They're busy helping others, and would I hold this once? Because my call is SO important. What am I ? A dunce?

My call's not so important that I'll spend an hour on hold, While my shoulder aches, my patience bakes, and my coffee grows green mold. Nothing your recording says can cause me to believe That my call will be taken in the order it was received.

So down I put the telephone and up I pick the modem, To find solutions on your site, and once found, download 'em. I calmly wait while DNS looks up your URL. I wait until your server answers your home page front doorbell.

I wait for frames to paint themselves for my solution to begin. And then I wait for plug-ins so I can see your logo spin. I wait to get an audio file - greetings from your CEO! He doesn't get the internet but he LOVES the radio.

I wait until a picture of your building is on my screen. And I realize there are things that should not be heard nor seen. Finally, there's a menu and I poise my mouse to click But first, a Java applet! "Starting Java." You KNOW this won't be quick .

The menu choices indicate you know yourselves full well. You know all about your company and that's what you want to tell. But where's the button I can push, that takes me to the page That solves my problem? Feels my pain? And soothes my mounting rage?

There, in the lower corner, down by the copyright There's a little tiny icon that looks as if it might Be a link to customer service, my troubles soon will quit. I click on it and I get a 404. Oh sugar.

And when I finally reach that page that promises relief, I'm staring at a document that's far beyond belief. For where there should be answers to frequently asked questions And online help and knowledge-bases is naught but indigestion.

There in type italics, underlined and bold Is the number for your help desk phone I should have stayed on hold!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jim Sterne

Jim Sterne is an international consultant who focuses on measuring the value of the Web as a medium for creating and strengthening customer relationships. Sterne has written eight books on using the Internet for marketing, is the founding president and current chairman of the Digital Analytics Association and produces the eMetrics Summit and the Media Analytics Summit.

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