Magazine article Marketing

Technology and Services Do Not Always Connect

Magazine article Marketing

Technology and Services Do Not Always Connect

Article excerpt

Big lorry, small stone. Zi-i-ip crack,windscreen gone.

Call the insurance broker, who answers at once.

"Thank you for calling. If you have a touch-tone telephone, please press one for all motor enquiries, or two for all household enquiries."

I press one obediently, and get another ringing tone.

Braced for a long wait, I wonder if the motor department has adopted the BT style, which is menu followed by menu after menu, and never the sound of a human voice.

Or the sharedealer mode: "Thank you for calling. Our client service department is very busy at the moment. Please hold and we will transfer your call as soon as one of our assistants is available."

This was followed by some slightly off-key canned music, which was punctuated in mid-bar every 30 seconds or so by wholly unreassuring reassurances that they still exist.

Memo to companies who use this mode: under these particular circumstances, Schubert's Unfinished Symphony, while it may be less impressively European, is definitely much more diplomatic than Beethoven's Ode to Joy.

Or perhaps I am in for the Midland/HSBC treatment, whose centralised client service department declines to put me into contact with the market town branch I have been dealing with for the past 40 years, and my father before me.

Not, that is, until I have given them the third letter of my secret password, my date of birth, the maiden name of my very late mother, a letter/digit from my Memorable Date (and what a girl she was) and, I could be wrong, but I think the last item was the colour of the tail of my barber's cat. …

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