3 Tips for creating Spectacular Phone Customer Service



All representatives are busy at this time. Please hold and your call will be answered in the order it was received….

Pizza Hut vs Zappos, a true story!

How many times have we all heard that message play over and over and over? Don’t forget the awful annoying music that’s usually being played in the background too.

I recently had the opportunity to call upon Zappos to ask a favor. That’s right….A favor. I wasn’t ordering a pair of shoes that day.

I wanted to see if all the hype I read about their customer services was indeed the best ever. And I can tell you my experience completely exceeded my expectations!

There were two questions I wanted ask the representative about her experience about working for Zappos. To keep her identity anonymous we’ll use the name Alexa. Alexa was kind, funny and very helpful. She informed me that she would need to place me on hold for a moment to check with her supervisor before answering my questions.

If you aren’t familiar with Zappos and their reputation for superior culture and customer service you are missing out. They offer tours and will take folks on the tour through the call center and allow them to listen in on the experience of the customer (with customer’s prior consent when calling in.).

I was on hold for less than a minute when Alexa returned and said, “I’d love to answer your questions and I know the answers I would give you in a heartbeat, but I’m afraid you will need to contact the Front Desk Team who handles those types of inquiries and such. Here is the phone number and they will be able to help you.”

She graciously asked if there was anything she could assist me with and wished me a fantastic rest of my day.

The story is far from over there.

I hung up and immediately called the Front Desk Team. The gal who answered informed me those request were taken via email and gave me the email address to send it to. Then she set my expectations by saying, “Someone will get back to you more than likely on Monday as the team who handles those inquiries are usually off on Fridays. Will that be ok with you?” Absolutely, I replied.

In less than an hour I received an email and a request to schedule a time for a call to visit with someone to go over and answer my two questions.

WOW! I was shocked and stunned! That was super-fast, painless and easy!

Transition to Pizza Hut…..I ordered a Large Pan Style pizza with two toppings online the other night. The estimated time was an hour and fifteen minutes. Ok, I thought, not a problem.

My pizza was delivered in the time estimated and all was fine until I opened the box and the crust was not fully cooked. If you’ve ordered Pan Style from Pizza Hut you know it should have a greasy yet crunchy crust. Mine was far from that.

So I called the LOCAL number on my receipt, hit the #3 prompt “For questions regarding your order” and was transferred to a gal. I told her the problem with my pizza and the last words I heard were, “One moment….”   My call was sent into LaLa-Phone Tree land with that annoying message playing –

All representatives are busy at this time. Please hold and your call will be answered in the order it was received….

I let the phone sit for over 15 minutes while my soggy pizza got soggier and cold, before I finally just hung up.

Things are moving faster and faster by the day and WE have come to expect it as such. We expect a website to load in 3 seconds or less, or we’ll close it and try another website. Time is of essence and we want to keep moving and not get caught up having to be placed on hold for who knows how long. AT the very least we want someone to set our expectations of how long we will need to wait to get further answers or help.


Want to keep your customers business?   Of course you do! Start with earning their loyalty!

Here are 3 Tips for starters:

  1. Set expectations up-front immediately.
  2. Do what you say you will do.
  3. Customer wait time should be kept as minimal as possible. There are plenty of phone services that can tell a caller how long the wait is… While I may NOT like waiting, at least they’ve set my expectation.

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