An angry chameleon shouting down the phone because of bad customer service

Why is good customer service such a hard nut to crack?

“Your call is important to us…”

How many times have you been on hold and heard this message?

And how many times have you screamed, “Well, if it’s that important to you, f*cking answer it then!”

Then the music starts.

Dear God, the music!

It’s either so crackly that it sounds like a poltergeist is playing it through a spirit box from another dimension, or so teeth-grindingly loud and irritating that you’re convinced that the company bought the tape from the ‘persuasions’ department at Guantanamo Bay.

But every 20 seconds you get a heartfelt reminder that “Your call is important to us…”

That moment when the music cuts off and there’s a split second of silence…

Your heart misses a momentary beat with excitement.

This is it! Your call is finally being answered!

But noooooooooo.

Back to the shitty music with you, my friend. You’ve got at least another 30 minutes of this agony yet.

And you die a little inside.

Your watch is now beeping to tell you that your head will explode if you don’t calm down, and everything else has faded out of existence.

It’s just you against this music, and you’ll be buggered if you let it beat you.

Talk about rubbing people up the wrong way before they’ve even started!

It’s almost a mercy when you get cut off before speaking to someone.

a chameleon who is customer service agent giving mediocre service

Honest automated messages

We’ve developed a lot as a society in the last 150 years.

And yet we still can’t seem to crack something as simple as decent customer service.

If people must be subjected to the terrors of being on hold, at least give them the courtesy of being honest with them on your automated messages.

‘Our staff are all busy having a mini breakdown because we’re severely understaffed, so you might be in for a bit of a wait.’

‘We tell you your call is important to us, but our staff really don’t give a shit.’

‘We currently estimate it’ll be 20 minutes before we answer your call, so we’ll probably speak to you in about an hour’s time.’

‘We do not tolerate verbal abuse towards our staff. That’s our job.’

‘Have you tried asking that fern plant in your office for an answer to your query, because it’ll probably give you the same answer we do.’

‘Thanks for waiting. Rest assured that when you speak to our representative, you’ll have to repeat everything that you’ve just said to the previous person, and they won’t have a clue how to resolve it either.’

a customer service chameleon looking at a computer screen

What can be done to make things better?

Every single person reading this has had an experience like the one I’ve described above, and yet it seems to be common practice.


You can’t honestly tell me that businesses want their customers to be apoplectic with rage by the time they get to speak to their people?

We can send a satellite into a different solar system and get it to beam back photos, but we can’t manage to answer a phone call in under 5 minutes and resolve the query there and then.

What gives?

I used to work in a call centre on a customer services team, so as it happens, I know first-hand that money is the answer here. Customer services teams don’t bring in any money, so they get very little in the way of resources and training.

But research also shows that a positive customer service experience will not only retain that customer, but they’ll also spread the word about what a good experience they had.

It’s not rocket (or satellite) science.

And that service starts with your on-hold experience.

Your on-hold message is somewhere you could really differentiate yourself from your competitors.

So hit me up to see how we could change your on-hold script.

And I’ll get back to you ASAP because your enquiry is important to me 😉

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