Not long ago, the likes of Optus would simply hang up on any customer whose call was challenging. Snap. Gone. Goodbye, re-join the queue and waste another 48 minutes of your life, and pray to the God of the Airwaves that you would be greeted by a less vile help-desk operator.
These days, the opposite is true. The clever operators simply DO NOT want to hang up, at all. WHY? Because they do not want the customer to complete the exit poll.
I invented the term and the concept of the ‘Exit Poll’ in 1998. I was travelling the country speaking with the most senior of managers and company directors (also on Radio and Television), warning them that the day will come when exit polls will be upon us. And here we are. Optus now uses an exist poll. However, the clever help-desk operators know that, so long as they do not hang up, the customer cannot participate in the survey. So those operators who know that they did not do a great job, do not disconnect the call. They just place the call on hold or place it on mute, hoping that the client will hang up in frustration.
There’s always a trick to every trade. Managers who do not know how to think like a culprit, will be unable to catch the culprits. So go figure. All this technology, and it’s useless. If these companies were serious, they would make it possible for a customer to press *1 (Star One) at any time and reach a senior manager, and press *1 again and reach a Director, and press *1 again and leave a message which only the CEO’s assistant can hear and pass on to the CEO. Anything else is a silly pathetic joke, so give it up. All exit polls ought to be monitored by all the directors and senior managers of the company, live, in real time, on their Facebook account. That’s one ticker tape that ought to keep them up at night.
P.S. Upon posting this article, a reader responded thus: ‘What about the flip side of the coin where operators are pressuring customers to take the exit poll and say what a good job they have done. I have had the experience where they repeatedly tell me their name and command me to take the survey. It is ridiculous that they want accolades for doing their job well. They should of course always do their job well without demanding a pat on the back and brownie points. A company should only be interested in occasions when they fall short of their standards so they can fix them.’