I just rang a large bank in New Zealand to ask when my new credit cars was coming, as the existing one is nearly expired. I was asked by a preprogrammed voice to put in a number off the card. Then my date of birth, then street name I lived in etc. Then I was asked what the query was about, followed by other questions to refine my reason for the call. I was finally put on hold to wait for an operator.
Eventually a live human arrived on the line and I asked my question, which was resolved in about 15 seconds. I was asked if that was all? Well, no. I understand that the person on the line doesn't set company policy so in a very kindly voice I continued.
|You can't blame her. She just works there.|
"Of course" she assured.
"All I came for was to ask a simple question that took seconds to resolve. To get here I was subjected to a series of questions that were unnecessary for this call. I am sure some callers have to be confirmed but many not. Why not ask the security questions only when required? It seems to me your company values its staff's time much more than it does its customer's time. Could you please pass that observation on?"
"Yes, certainly sir".
I thanked her and hung up. I though my 15 second enquiry cost me several minutes and cost its staff member just 15 seconds. By putting me through hoops 'just in case', it saved staff time. The assistant can then process more calls per day, which means less staff required and reduced cost. That saving then goes to the shareholders dividend.
The price? Thousands of customers who spend far more of their precious time than needed to increase corporate profit. I can understand profit drives capitalism. Just don't pretend that I or my time is important to you. The bottom line is all that counts is profit and pretending I am important. I know its a selfish world and no one does selfish that better than the corporate world where money and greed is king. Just saying.