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Have You Called Your Company Lately?

Have you placed a call to your own company lately? Well I have and I'm here to tell you it wasn't an experience I would like to repeat. Here is just one of the many interactions your "customer service" people are having daily with people like me.

I received a call the other day from a company responsible for verifying information on loan applications. Like many of you, we are attempting to make it through the maze they call refinancing. Based on the questions, you would think we are on parole. But that's another story for another posting.

An employee from the verification company (let's call her Kim) left a message asking me to return her call. Kim said if she wasn't available, I could speak with anyone else in the department, as they are all happy to help. I returned Kim's call and received voicemail. Following her instructions, I found my way to another representative, who then informed me she had to ring Kim's line, even though I told her Kim wasn't in. "It's company policy," she said, as I rolled my eyes. I waited for her to come back on the line to tell me Kim wasn't in. She then proceeded to tell me it would take four conference calls for us to complete our transaction. I did what any other sane person would do. I hung up.

Please tell me who invents these ridiculous policies. If everyone can help, then why is no one helping? And what about the four conference calls to complete a simple transaction? Isn't this a waste of time for everyone? Now before you go on and say it's a federal requirement, you should know that my mortgage broker is now confirming the information using some sort of secret handshake or something like that.

We are people here on the other end of the phone that would like to be treated like the valuable customers you say we are. For your own sake and ours, will you please pick up the phone and call your company?

© 2011 Human Resource Solutions. All Rights Reserved.

Roberta Chinsky Matuson is the President of Human Resource Solutions and author of the new book, Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around (Nicholas Brealey). Visit Roberta's Blog or her Linked-in Group Suddenly in Charge! Sign up to receive a complimentary subscription to Roberta's monthly newsletter, HR Matters.

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  • Roberta Matuson

    Thank you for your post Scott. I couldn't agree more. I truly believe people really want to do a good job. It's just that all too often their companies make it difficult if not impossible to do so.


  • Scott Zimmerman

    I think you’re absolutely right that it’s imperative for company leaders to be in tune with how their customers are being treated. It’s also important for leaders to foster a work environment where employees see purpose in their work so they will begin to look more personally at each customer’s problems and how their products can solve those problems. This mindset helps employees become more fully engaged and creates a level of service that’s satisfying for both the employee and customer.

    One way to do that is to work with your customers to determine the best method of communicating with them and when they would like to receive information. Once you have determined the appropriate channel for communicating, you can engage customers in a highly personalized and tailored way.

    That’s when Engagement Communications comes in to its own. Engagement Communications blends advances in communications such as voice messaging, SMS text messaging, email and social media with a human touch to not only make a connection with customer, but motivate them to take action.

    Today’s consumers expect, and in many cases demand, that information be tailored to their ever-changing needs and interests. Companies that listen to what their customers say, and react accordingly to meet their needs, will prove that their customers are as valuable as the company says they are.

    Thank you for the post.

    Scott Zimmerman, President of