Not Particularly Helpful


One of the things I like about computers is the ability to assign long blocks of regularly used text to an individual function key or code. Hit the key and all the verbiage appears instantly.

One of the things I don’t like about some customer service reps nowadays is their spewing of long blocks of generic responses when I accidentally use a verbal keystroke or code word that triggers their autopilot “service” mode.

Today I had barely uttered the word "standby" to a gate agent when she sullenly cut me off and informed me that no standbys would be cleared until 20 minutes before the flight and that my name would be called if chosen.

Too bad her in-depth monotone response wasn’t at all related to the questions I was going to ask. Nor did her inability connect with me on an individual personal level win her any brand loyalty points.

I’m sure all of us fall prey to giving pat responses when we think we are about to hear the same old question once again.

We would be wise to make sure the answer we are about to give indeed matches the question about to be asked. And even if it does, we should shut off our robotic response mode and answer like we are actually talking to real human beings whose purchases help pay our salary.

Because they are … and the do.

And if we don’t? We indeed one day will be replaced by a machine who can offer the same response for less money and with greater reliability.