If you’ve ever had the bad fortune of having to report a faulty mobile phone connection then you may empathise with my frustration.

For years now, many organisations – and mobile phone companies, in particular – put you on hold sighting the reason that they are experiencing unusually high level of call traffic. Recently, and with contradictory aplomb, my mobile company has again been telling me this, and whilst I hold the line they now also inform me that I’m a valued customer.  Well, if I’m such a valued customer why have they been wasting my time all these years without sufficiently resourcing their call centre to match their promise of providing excellent customer service?

Again, on this particular occasion, it took a long time for me to get through to a customer service representative. This time, the launch of the new Samsung phone was being evidenced as to why they were busy. In their defence however, I must state that when you actually do get through to an operator the level of service is generally very good.

Of course, as per usual, the automated voice answering system gave me the option to check their website for further details and services.But “the rub” this time was that instead of listening to the standard voice mail that stating that “you may find it more convenient to call back later” or “request a ring back”; I was, in this instance, asked to call back at a time more convenient for the mobile phone company.

Specifically, this time, I was informed that “we would really appreciate it if you would call back at another time”.  So instead of the “please call back when it is convenient for you” it was a case of please call back when it is convenient for us!  I found this doubly perverse as they had not even taken the opportunity to specify the call-back times when it was actually more convenient!

I suppose that the High Street analogy would be if you were to walk into a shop to purchase something and the shop assistant was to tell you to “come back another time – can’t you see we are busy at the moment”.

In short, what the mobile phone company was saying was this – we are making lots of extra money from a new phone release but rather than reinvest some of the profits in members of staff to serve customers we would recommend that you didn’t compound our workload at this time.

I am quite sure that if an authority figure at the phone company was actually to listen to the message and took a brief second to consider how the message came across to their customers they would wish to reconsider their approach. But to achieve this sustainable position, it will require them to better manage their growth curve and to more effectively project manage their customer service delivery.

If a new product launch has been successful then that’s great news for the phone company; but this should not at the detriment of doing business with their ongoing loyal and presumably profitable customers who just want to rectify a problem and get on with their lives! It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul.


GA Training is a client-focused provider of customer service training