Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Super Super Efficient

I bought a birthday pressie today off UK Amazon and it offered me all kinds of services, like a private message for the recipient of the gift, taking the price off the invoice and even converting all the GBP amounts into USD. The efficiency trend is spreading me thinks! A couple of weeks ago I went to a service center and expected to stand in line for an hour as I have in the past and I was met by a nice woman with a clipboard who asked me for a brief description of the service I needed. I told her and she wrote the time down on a ticket and gave it to me then put me in the right holding area. I was immediately called up, they took my ticket from me, got me sorted out, wrote the time down on a ticket, pushed it down over the spike thingy sitting on their desk and cheerily said "Is there anything else I can help you with today ma'am?" As they were helping me I couldn't help but eavesdrop on the person in the booth next to mine who couldn't be helped immediately so she was sent to a comfy "triage" area off to the side while it got sorted by a worker bee at the back & the next person got called up. I thought "Triage?" what kind of pretentious and daft name is that except in a hospital but I haven't been able to come up with a better term in the last two weeks.

This kind of efficiency is amazing to me. I am used to queuing up for hours, being stuck on hold and getting lost in infuriating automated phone messages. Finally - is customer service the new thing? I did read somewhere recently that the wave of the future will be tailor-made services, just for us, and I see it already. When I log onto You Tube or Amazon or Netflix they recommend things just for me and call me by my name. My local supermarket even sends me coupons for the things that I regularly buy. I wonder if it will get annoying? Like the drive through fast-food places now that don't ask you what you want - they recommend a food and ask if you want it. That's annoying. Also, at a lunch time place I like to eat at they ask your name when you order and then every time you go in from there on in they greet you loudly - "hey there Pam! How are you today?" I mumble and shuffle through the line when what I really want to say is "You don't know me so please don't be so informal with me. Muppet."

Well that was a long ramble wasn't it, sorry. I only came on to say how impressed I was with my last purchase.

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