Sunday, November 1, 2020

The COVID19 Excuse Is It Real? Or Just an Excuse


Opinion by:  
E. Eugene Webb PhD         

I don't know about you, but I'm getting a little tired of hearing the CORVID excuse every time I call my doctor's office, a parts supplier, my car dealership for service, or any other organization such as a city or County office.

You know how it goes, “Thank you for calling. Due to the COVID-19 virus we are experiencing extremely high call volumes. Please stay on the line and one of our customer service representatives will answer you in the next week or so.”

What it boils down to is a lot of businesses have taken the opportunity to shift from real time in person customer service to automated systems, eliminate the people that used to provide the customer service and make that the new normal.

You would like to think that these companies and organizations are doing all this to protect their employees and keep them safe, but in reality, it looks like they're just taking advantage of the situation and their customers to make a few more bucks.

Recently, I had the experience of dealing with one of my longtime parts suppliers, noted for their customer service an on-line support, only to spend literally hours and hours on-line, mostly on hold, trying to resolve a problem.

Here's the interesting thing, their customer service support phone line has been removed from their website, replaced with a call center number. Their chat icon now only shows up for a few moments and most of the people you get on the phone or in chat,  when you finally do manage to reach a live human being, are in somebody's commercial call center not the business I'm working with and since this is a technical issue, they have no idea how to handle the problem.

When you built your business on customer service, the COVID-19 virus is really no excuse to destroy what has taken you years to build and tons of money to put in place.

Especially irritating to me is the experience at many medical centers, doctor’s offices, and clinics, in their front-end automated phone answering systems.

All kinds of COVID-19 alerts, alarms, messages, requirements, and delays reaching individuals; talking to doctors and knowledgeable professional assistants and most of all getting an appointment scheduled.

I'm not really sure when all this is going to go away. In fact, it may never go away.

If this pandemic lasts long enough, people will finally get used to lousy customer service, long delays on the telephone and scheduling appointments six months out for anything from getting your oil changed to having your prostate checked.

Is there anything we can do? I doubt it.

You might try complaining to the people that run the business, the office manager or somebody else in their administrative chain, but if you really want to know the truth, I doubt that they seriously care.

So buck up, get ready for crappy service remember its most likely not the COVID-19 virus that is causing your problem it's somebody's inability to understand how to run a business.

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