Tuesday, February 21, 2012
It Should Be Easier!
It Should be Easier
I spent 45 minutes today ordering a new deposit book. That doesn’t include the five minutes it takes me to walk from my office to the bank, where I thought I would be handed a complimentary new one with their logo on it so that I could continue depositing my millions there with ease. “We don’t give them out anymore, you have to phone this 1-800 number and order one.” I don’t like the concept but I try to be progressive, and with this “kindness” thing to which I am dedicated, I smile and thank the Bank as I head back to the office to phone in my order quickly.
Automated, bi-lingual messages do not mix well with an attention deficit of such magnitude as mine. While I was waiting for the voice reel to arrive at the number of the selection that most closely matched my needs, I became distracted by thinking about how much longer a phone cord I should buy to allow me to do other tasks while waiting for automated voice reel messages. I only had to start over twice, but finally I was able to pay attention long enough to find out the sales tax in Quebec is going to increase to 9.5% as of – some date soon, I forgot to listen to when it will be in effect. I fully expect I won’t be able to advance my number-pressing sequences because of this, which makes me feel slightly grouchy and I decide to hang up and phone the branch on Main Street to talk to someone I have known since birth. Mine, not hers. But I spent eight or 10 minutes on hold and was then automatically transferred to someone in Toronto. Not a classic “win” but she didn’t ask me to press any numbers. She did, however, want me to spell everything. “What is your address please?” Box 267 – “Could you spell that please?” T-W-O…S-I-X…S-E-V-E-N – “So you are at 267 what?” Box 267 – “Could you spell that please?” Box – sorry, B-O-X – “Thank you. And what province?” Oh, crap.
After spelling my complete auto-biography to the representative in Toronto (she doesn’t know my brother in Barrie) I may or may not be receiving a deposit book – which is no longer free - yes, I actually paid for today’s pain. But I did not swear at all, I refrained from muttering and sighing, and I (sort of politely) explained that for the record, I am not in favor of the new system where I phone someone in Toronto who does not have access to my account information rather than being served by the person who has known me since birth (and has all my account information plus a few school pictures of me).
This is not a rant against banks (fooled you, eh?). It is a commentary on the decline of personal service in business today. Everyone has become accustomed to the automated telephone answering voice and the frustrating and time-consuming circus-game of “guess the magic button” in order to complete a simple task. I always try to take a lesson from each experience – good or bad – and my resolution today is this: anytime I am in a position to ask for others’ patronage or support, I am going to make it as easy and pleasant as possible so that they decide in my favor. I may be vetoed, and the effort may be greater, but I am going to try to give better than what I got today. That should be easy.