On my Soapbox

My last blog was about customer service - how to delight your customers. This week I'm getting on my soap box about a couple of simple things that waste my time and leave me feeling anything but delighted. The first is a line I see more and more at the bottom of email signatures:

"Please consider the environment before printing this email."

I don't know anyone who prints emails to read them. Some documents maybe, but a five line email? And if your email did by chance go to the one person in Australia who does print their emails to read them, my guess is that he's already considered the environment and decided to go ahead anyway.

Every time I read that line, there goes another couple of seconds of my life I'll never get back.

It's the same with long phone messages that tell me in detail how to leave a message. What to say (my name, my number, the reason for my call and the time I called) and when to say it (after the beep).

I actually know how to leave a message - I don't need instructions. And I'm pretty sure everyone else who calls does too. Instructions might have been useful back in the day when answering machines had just come out. Not anymore.

I think wasting your customers' time, even in these small ways, is disrespectful and poor customer service.

OK, I'll get off my soap box now and share an example of the opposite from an unlikely source.

I called the ATO this morning and the machine told me I could either wait 10 minutes or leave a number and they would call me back (and I wouldn't lose my place in the queue). I love that! They value my time.

What gets on your goat? What do you want to get on your soapbox about?

Alternatively where are you guilty of wasting your customers time and what can you do about it?