How to anger your customers

Keep them on hold. That’s right, when they call you in total frustration because they’ve tried to fix their own problem at least five or six times, after they explain that problem, tell them to please hold on because someone will be right with them to help. Then transfer them to another person who will supposedly help them. Then make them wait again.

I sat on hold today with a service provider for almost 15 minutes (while I fumed) and was then passed along to two more people, each of whom left me hanging on the line (with really annoying messages playing over and over, including the reminder that “you’re very important to us”). Sadly, even after a lengthy troubleshooting conversation, none of these individuals could fix my problem. Which means I’ll try again tomorrow. Because after spending over an hour trying to fix something on my new $400 piece of technology, I needed to get back to work to earn the money to pay for that $400 piece of technology. I know you understand what I’m getting at here. People buy from you not just for the “in the moment” piece of software or new printer. They trust you with their purchases because they have the expectation that you will be there for them if and when something goes wrong. Customers want value, which can come in various shapes and sizes, including the length of time they sit on hold waiting for their problem to be solved. To provide the ultimate in value, don’t let them wait.

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