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February 2, 2005 12:09 PM
Broken: Call-center hold audio
Paul Roub writes:
So you call XYZ Co's customer service line. You get through the 9-level menu tree, and it's on-hold time. "Your call is very important to us. Please hold, and you call will be answered by the next available operator."
The music starts playing. Kenny G. Luckily, your mind quickly tunes that out, much like my nose used to when I worked on a garbage truck. You get on with your work while you wait, headset in place, speaker on, or phone cradled on your shoulder.
30 seconds pass, and there's silence followed by a voice. You snap to attention, losing track of your work. "Your call is very important to us..." Ack. Now back to Kenny G. Begin to regain focus on your work.
"You call is very important to us..."
This repeats so many times that when a *real* person finally picks up, it takes a second to realize you should pay attention now.
This is broken in so many ways. Why on *earth* do they do this? Leave the music on, that's enough to let us know you're still there. If you want to interrupt me to tell me what my expected response time is, great -- then shut up unless that prediction changes. Otherwise, you're making my wait seem much, much longer than it actually is, by depriving me of any meaningful way to pass the time, and forcing me to maintain low-level attention with no reward.
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