The phone test

coffeeMy brother and I were talking about a company we both like dealing with. The company name isn’t important, but it’s a very successful medium sized business. We’ve both had multiple pleasant experiences dealing with them, in particular their phone interactions are unusual.

That’s because a soft-spoken receptionist answers. After greeting you, she asks who you’d like to speak to and connects you right away. You’re left feeling like you might be offered a cup of coffee if there was any delay. There’s no screening by a gatekeeper, ┬ábeing redirected to an automated multiple choice decision tree, nor any of the other impersonal feeling initial phone interactions most of us are used to these days.

Whenever in doubt, default to being human. Having a nice person greeting people on the phone is simple and probably not much more expensive than other options, but it more than pays for itself in the customer experience, that important first impression.

And it’s not just skin deep. My brother has had money transactions with them too and said those are also direct and without hoops to jump through or payment delays.

I’m not mentioning the company’s name because I don’t want to risk people calling them to check it out. Plus, you’ve had the experience before, it’s like calling a friend’s house, easy and breezy.

It’s the phone test standard I use in forming an initial impression about any company I contact by phone.