Saturday, June 28, 2008

Customer Service, The Perennial Joke

Customer service, like bananas, almost inevitably gets people thinking of jokes. From the Idea Sandbox, I found the blog of Tom Fishburne and he has a particularly appropriate cartoon. The sting is in the tail.

The cartoon resulted from Fishburne’s frustration at the customer service he received from .. you guessed it .. a telephone company.

He mentions that in one company he worked for they had a banana telephone. That is not to be confused with the LG SV80 Banana Phone. This was a regular telephone in the shape of a banana. If that phone rang, they all knew it was a call from a customer. Anyone who was close was charged with answering it and giving whatever assistance was needed.

That isn’t too practical for most companies. Good, economical customer service is now better delivered through modern IVR (interactive voice response) systems. As for bananas, perhaps they are better left for the monkeys.