"Nice Grrls" Finish First
Who's in charge?

ISO: Customer Service Lite, Please

by Guest Blogger, Lena West, Chief of Social Media Strategy at xynoMedia

Custsvc Maybe it's just me, but there seems to be a lot of excess verbiage when I call customer service lines lately.

First, I have to "authenticate" who I am to either the phone system or the person answering the phone. This usually means some combination of account numbers, date of birth, a series of passwords, security questions and address verification. It's a lot to remember and rattle off.

Then once you get get past the authentication gates, you have to listen to the customer service rep try to provide good customer service with WORDS.

I've heard everything from:

"I'm sorry to hear you're having that problem and I'm happy to help you solve that problem today," to "I understand that this must be frustrating for you, I'm going to do my best to see if I can help you solve this problem today."

Then, they help you. And, you're desperately trying to get off the phone and onto your next to-do and they say, "Do you have any other questions that I can help you with today?" You say, "No." And, they say, "Do you feel as if I've provided you with quality customer service today?" You say, "Yes." And, they say, "Can I send you a quick customer service survey by email, please?" You say, "Yes." And, they say, "Thank you for calling ABC Company where we strive to treat you as a valued customer, have a good day and thanks for calling."

Are you serious??? All that to end a phone call?! It takes you like 30 seconds to hang up from a call with these service reps.

But, my favorite is when...

they ask you to find a bit of information and then while you're trying to find it, they interrupt you to ask you some other account-related question. Umm, can you give me a moment to find the answer the question you just asked me please?

It also peeves me a bit when they try to get you to renew services that aren't even ready for renewal yet just because they have you on the phone with them!I love their service and they're always helpful, but GoDaddy is infamous for this! C'mon guys, this is annoying.

Now, I am not saying that I want the rep to be abrupt or rude, I'm merely pointing out that there just *has* to be some middle ground between the two worlds of rudeness and customer service-based verbal diarrhea. 

And, hey, I totally get that everyone has a job to do and the reps they don't make the rules; they just follow the instructions given to them by some mindless marketing or customer service consultant.

I'm just wondering when someone is going to tell the people who make the decisions that all this "customer service on steroids" is a total waste of the customer's time? I'm fine with someone wanting to help, but  as I always say, "don't talk about it, BE about it."


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Wow, really? All that is just too much verbiage for me.

A "sorry about that - let's get that solved for you" works just fine for me.

Thanks for reading and commenting!

Tiffany Jonas

I actually like it (a lot) when the representative says, "I'm sorry to hear you're having that problem and I'm happy to help you solve that problem today"... provided that the company in question has in fact empowered the representative to solve the problem, of course. It's nice to have an apology for the trouble I've been experiencing, and it's reassuring to hear they intend to fix it.

That said, I do agree with the rest of your blog post... and I'd add that my pet peeve is when the automated system forces you to provide a wad of information, and then when a human finally answers, they ask you for the same information all over again. Nrrr!



I used to work on a help desk, too, so I know what they make you say as a rep. Horrible isn't it? :)

Thanks for reading and commenting!


I used to work as a Call center agent. And we do get training (months of it) to use those phrases and we do get demerits if we stray from our spiel. But yeah it can get annoying sometimes.



It IS scary. It's like HAL, iRobot and Surrogates all rolled into one.

Whatever happened to just people talking to people in a respectful manner that values each party's time?


Thanks for being a human :) and reading and commenting!

tom jordan


You are soooo right. It's a little like the waiter rattling off the specials as he looks off into space trying to remember the lemon zest garnish on the Snapper. But at least a human being is talking to you. The one that really rattles me is for a very well know credit card company that has an automated voice PRETEND to be human. "Uh, I'm looking for that information, oh, here it is!...Did you say 6 1 7 4 ? Uh, I can't seem to find it?" Scary.

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