“We are experiencing an unusually large volume of calls at the moment. We apologise for the delay. Please stay on the line and your call will be answered in turn.”
My friend Andy Stanford-Clark was complaining about this on Twitter,
“No, there are an unexpectedly low number of people answering the phones at the moment. Don’t blame your customers for your organisational inefficiency. Thank you.”
I’ve talked about this before: some organisations seem to have this as a standard disclaimer on the beginning of every call you make to them, which means it is blatantly untrue: how ‘unexpected’ or ‘unusual’ can the volume of calls really be?
No, what this really means is, “We consider our time to be more valuable than yours.” Even though your call is really important to us.
(Sometimes, though, these automated messages can be helpful. When they say, “This call may be recorded for monitoring and training purposes”, I say, “Thank you!”, and click the record button.)
Now I’m considering, when they do finally connect, playing a recorded message that says, “I’m experiencing an unexpected number of answers at this time. My call is important to you, so please hold, and a valued customer will be with you shortly.” Repeated a few times, of course, but interspersed with some upbeat yet calming music.