Answering The Phone: You Are The Face Of The Company

We’ve all experienced it, we have all suffered through it, we have all cursed it: 

The way companies answer the phone…if they do at all.

This is why Best Buy will go out of business. I called the other day to make an appointment with the Geek Squad. I did this because I learned the hard way that after driving twenty miles to the nearest store and waiting for twenty minutes in line at the Geek counter I was told that there was nothing they could do for me as I had not made an appointment. So I called and made an appointment for the next week and that was that. I now knew the rules and was ready to abide by them…if I wanted to earn the privilege of doing business with Best Buy.

Now a year later I want to buy a new router, something called a Mesh Router that will cost somewhere between $1500 and $2000 but that’s okay. I get it. But I also wanted to engage the Geeks to first of all advise me on the best router for my house and then have them come in and set everything up. I’ve learned the hard way that that “it’s so easy you can do it yourself” thing? It’s a crock. 

So, remembering the rule I looked up the number of my not so local Best Buy and called them. But I did not get through to Augusta, Maine. Instead (and you know what I am going to say) I got someone in a far away country with a line that was so bad that I could barely hear or understand him. Before I could start my business I had to give him my name, my address, and my phone number. Why? I do not have an account with them. It’s not like calling the phone company or the power company. 

When I finally told him what I wanted he told me he would have to connect me to someone else, which he did before I could protest. Then the new person came on the line with a line worse than the first guy and she proceeded to ask me for my name, address, and phone number all over again. Then after much difficulty I stated that I needed to talk to the Geek Squad to make an appointment. She said she could not help me and transferred me to someone else. In the end this happened four times until I finally hung up in disgust.

All I wanted to do is give Best Buy over $2000 of my business. What are they thinking? If customer service and care is the “face” of their business, it’s a pretty ugly, unpleasant, and anti-customer scowling face.

I don’t blame the people on the phone, they are just doing their jobs with what they have been given. In fact, they are as much a victim of the situation as I am.

Just remember Best Buy, that when you go out of business it will be for this. It will not be because Amazon does not play fair, which is I am sure what you will be screaming when it happens.

By the way, Best Buy, why don’t you walk down the Mall hallway to the Apple Store to see how business is supposed to be done and how you could be conducting your business.

Okay, so much for Best Buy. What about your business? Who is answering your phone? What kind of face are you putting on your business? What are customers faced with when they try to reach someone at your company?

By the way if you have one of those “If you know your party’s extension” answering systems forget it. You are not even in the ballpark when it comes to the customer experience. You have given up completely and are sending a brutal message to anyone who calls. and that message says, “We just don’t care about you or your business.” 

Think of all that money you have wasted on marketing. All that money and energy and effort you have spent on getting that person to call your company and then all they get is a message that says very clearly “we don’t care about you or your business.”

This should be so simple. Get a real live person to answer your phones. Someone who is charming and helpful and pleasant to anyone who calls your company. Someone who you will be proud to have as the face of your company. And then train that person to be helpful. Train that person to understand that in many ways she or he is the most important person in the company at that moment when they answer that phone.

Doing this one single thing will change everything. I guarantee that it will, and it will enhance the customer’s experience and increase your business. It’s only common sense.