Where is the human touch?

Part of running your own business is also the business of cold calling. I don’t mind it at all and it can be a lot of fun if…………. you actually get to talk to someone.
Lately all I hear are these automated voice systems….
If you know the extension you wish to reach, please enter it now….. If you want to speak to customer service press 1, if you want to speak to shipping press 2, if you want to speak to human resources press 3 and if you want to access our company directory, please press the # sign……
Who invented this most impersonal phone system the world has ever seen? It must have been someone who is not in touch with his or her own feelings and emotions.
Yes, we live in a hi-tech and automated world but I can’t help but wonder…… What if you are a customer? What if you are actually faced with a problem or issue? What if you actually want to talk someone to receive immediate assistance? What if you are a new potential customer and this is the first impression your get? How much fun can it be to talk to a machine?
It’s not surprising to me that we are in this economic mess. Everyone is focused on the numbers and on saving money. There is nothing wrong with that but my challenge is….. – are companies saving money in the right areas? I probably make between 90 and 150 phone calls a week and I can truly say one thing – if I speak to a live receptionist who is knowledgeable, shows initiative and is friendly, this company stands out in my mind…….
It is a great way to differentiate yourself from your competitors!
Aren’t there more efficient ways to save money than cutting the job of a receptionist?
Hmmmm, obviously this would require more creativity and resourcefulness!
A general manager in a manufacturing plant told me a long time ago: “I don’t have a receptionist; her title is ‘Director of First Impressions’.” I have never forgotten this statement. Isn’t that so true?
Wouldn’t it make sense to pay a receptionist well and shouldn’t the receptionist be willing to go above and beyond in positively reflecting her organization every single day? Why would you place an incompetent person who is rude and doesn’t like what he or she does right in front of your customer?
Recently I walked into a company where the receptionist was playing solitaire. I talked to receptionists who were rude. I talked to receptionists who hung the phone up by mistake and I talked to receptionists who don’t even know what’s manufactured in the plant.
Why do these people still have a job?
Who decides who should stay and who should go?
Is this something companies should take a closer look at?
Another unbelievable scenario is that when you press # 1 on the automated system to get connected to customer service…..guess what…… nobody picks up the phone. Wow! I tried this now so many times and 75 % of the time no one picks up the phone.
Let’s just be honest and face it – customer service in Canada sucks and if companies really want to compete globally, this attitude will have to change.
If we speak about companies who are successful, we should never forget that it’s the people behind the company name who make it a success.
Every person puts different effort into their jobs but if you give it your all, then you are doing your part to make the company successful.
I firmly believe that employees deserve to be happy in their jobs but I also believe that companies deserve to have employees who are willing to go the extra mile if they collect a pay cheque. It’s all about give and take!
There is no question about it….. times are changing and companies are changing.
I just hope our organizations won’t be run by a few well programmed robots one day……- otherwise our CEO’s and Presidents may have to fear for their jobs as well. 🙂
In my opinion we all have to work harder on keeping the human touch in our organizations – for the sake of our customers, our employees and for the shareholder value.
What do you think?


  1. I hear you. I have been extremely pissed off with the way receptionists handle phone calls on numerous occasions. Sometimes I have a strong impression: they don’t care. And even the recession hasn’t improved anything.
    I also love when you leave a voicemail, and nobody bothers returning it or nobody replies you email. also very very good 🙂
    the problem is that in many cases an organization doesn’t even realize they have tis problem, and he situation drags for years.
    Yes, I am ll for happy employees, who are happy to do their job ven if sometimes they have to go extra 2 miles to make customers happy 🙂

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