It all Depends Upon Who Answers the Phone

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

Not too long ago I wrote about how after 6 months of frustration, one more call to Wild Blue solved my problem of not being able to view my own domains on my own computer.

That time, I was connected with a woman who listened, understood what I was saying, and knew how to solve it immediately.

Today I had a simialr experience, this time with DirecTV. television

I don't pay much attention to the television, but my husband does. So last night when all he could get was a "Searching for Satellite" message on the screen, I called DirecTV. (The excuse is, he's hard of hearing and can't understand people on the phone. The truth is, I've been the "secretary" making his phone calls for over 40 years.)

After going through all the automated junk, I was finally connected with a tech support person. All she could say was that it must be the snow. Never mind that it was snowing very lightly, and that the TV had worked just fine yesterday when we were having a blizzard. Never mind that Wild Blue was still working, and the Internet Satellite is WAY more touchy than the TV satellite.

She had no clue, but said that if it wasn't better by tomorrow, to call back.

OK - it was about my husband's bedtime anyway. We can wait and see.

Waiting for the snowstorm to end didn't work...

This morning the sky was clear and the sun was shining. And some channels came in, some of the time. Others would not. We kept seeing the "searching" message.

So, with a big sigh and a bit of dread at having to go through all that automated mumbo-jumbo before talking to an actual live human, I made the call.

But this time was different. This time I was connected to a woman who knew what to do. And it was SO easy.

She said that sometimes static builds up in the cables and interferes with the satelite signal. She told me to disconnect the cable from the receiver, to touch the copper pin in the center with my finger, and then reconnect it.

And that's all it took - my husband can once again watch TV to his heart's content.

In both instances, success came from talking to the right person.

So from now on, if I don't get answers, I'm going to call back right away... maybe I'll get lucky on the 2nd or 3rd try.

What does this mean to you?

If you have someone answering phones on your behalf, make sure they know what they're doing - and know what to say.

When we're under contract to companies like Wild Blue and DirecTV we don't have any choice but to stay with them. But your would-be customers and clients do have a choice. Make sure they're glad it was your number they chose to dial.


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Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Oh, boy, did this ever resonate with time you call, bingo, you get someone terrific, the next time, ehhhh, not so much. 

Recently I tried to cancel the "free"movie channels we had with DirecTV...I told the rep we only took them because, really, we were pretty much forced to, but we just do not need them, want them or watch them.  The rep actually said to me, "Well, maybe if you try a little harder..."

Really?  TRY a little harder to watch tv?  I can see trying harder to write a blog post, learn a new skill, etc. but to try harder to watch more tv? 

She made me laugh, I'll give her that.

But, to your point, yes,  even on the phone we only get that one time to make a first impression!

Jan 23, 2012 10:03 AM #1
Ellen Caruso
Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty - Glen Head, NY

Marte, it is so all depends on who you talk to! I make all the calls too, and sometimes it is so frustrating how you can spend a day making calls and feel like you got noting done.

Jan 23, 2012 12:15 PM #2
Michael S. Bolton
Michael S. Bolton,Inc. - Zimmerman, MN
MN Appraiser

Marte~I think this is true in most professions also, there is always going to be those that are better qualified. I'm going to try your advice when I'm not getting the help I need and keep calling back. I hope that no tries this when they call me, because they're going to keep getting me, maybe I'll have to learn how to change my voice.

Have an awesome evening!

Jan 23, 2012 01:19 PM #3
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Susan - I suppose I'll have to face that too. The last time I called to see why my bill is a few dollars higher each month, they told me I qualified for 3 months of free Starz. My husband, who keeps saying there's nothing on TV, is enjoying the old western movies, so who knows. I may have to keep it. As far as I'm concerned, we could put the TV in the dump... too many other things to do to sit around in front of the tube!

Ellen - That's sure true. Sometimes it's just hours spent running in circles. I always dread (and put off) phone calls to any business that greets you with a recording.

Michael - I don't think you need to worry. I have a hunch that if someone asks you a question about your work, you'll have a ready answer.

I suppose none of us should be shocked that we get a variety of quality in responses from large companies about technical matters. They have to hire a lot of people, and the old 80-20 rule no doubt applies - and it's only now and then that we connect with someone in the 20% who actually knows their work.

Meanwhile... I wonder why I no longer get an email when there's a comment on one of my blogs.

Is everyone else experiencing this, or is it just "Me and my Wild Blue?"

Jan 23, 2012 03:59 PM #4
Marge Piwowarski
Phoenix AZ Horse Property - Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix AZ Horse Property, LLC

Marte, Do you know if the Discover card commercial about "Peggy" (a foreign call center guy who introduces himself as Peggy, does a bunch of stupid things and hangs up on the caller) is nationwide?  I have amused myself with poor customer service by asking if their name is Peggy...

I have Direct TV and some of their people are simply awesome.  The others are, well, Peggy. 

Nope, emails about comments have stopped.  And you have a short name so probably all of it is at the top of your page.,  seeing a portion of my name is irritating even if others don't see it that way (What do they see?). 

Jan 23, 2012 05:06 PM #5
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Marge - I love it! I'm going to have to remember to ask that question next time I get a goof-ball on the phone.

I'll go to your page and see what I see at the top...

Jan 23, 2012 08:04 PM #6
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