Looking For a Live Person?

Have you ever had one of those days when you need to speak to a real person but keep getting voice mail, on-hold messages and NO ANSWERS?

If you are anything like me, you begin to breathe faster, your heart rate increases and so does your temper. When you finally do get a real person and recount your story you find yourself back on hold while they transfer you to yet another department because “that’s not my job.”

Just typing these words is increasing my blood pressure.

Well, guess what I stumbled upon today?

The secret code.

Do you remember the first Game Boy and your kids would learn the secret code to obtaining special weapons and access to the next level? My son was banned from receiving an electronic toy until late in life (11 years old) and by then all his friends had mastered the art of video games and would frequently take his Game Boy and help him through the secret passageways to untold success.

The Holy Grail of gaming.

Most people don’t know this, actually those who did are all mysterious gone, but I was once a telephone operator. I worked for GTE on the old cord boards. Probably anyone who even knows what a cord board is, doesn’t frequent the Internet to join in this conversation, but in those days (gosh, I’m sounding old by the word) we’d long for conversation with a real person. On slow days when the board would light up we’d fight for the opportunity to be the first to stick our cord in the lighted hole to talk with a customer.

I often wonder if the REAL people in customer service behind the veil of never ending automated instructions are also waiting for us to reach them, as when we do get through they are often willing to sit and chat for long periods of time.

Anyway – enough lead in – here it is…the secret code to immediately getting to a REAL person, the 1-800 Shortcuts listing of most frequently called companies.

Look at how difficult companies are making it to get to a real person:

Say “Member,” than press *0 several times until transferred

Press immediately then press during each prompt until transferred. Ignore responses.

Immediately press #0 then #0 then #0.

Does your company have voice mail or is it answered by a person? I realize we are cutting overhead by using voice mail but are we also making it so difficult to do business with that people may choose not to?