At the best of times, dealing with corporate monstrosities is pretty challenging.
Since Covid, it’s become an utter nightmare, with more barriers and irrelevant questions in every single interaction.
Take Thames Water as an example – they called me yesterday to book a date to install a water meter.
The guy on the other end of the phone sounded bored out of his brain, and clearly reading from a script, launched straight into the all too familiar Covid questions:
- Is anyone self-isolating?
- Is anyone in the vulnerable categories?
- Has anyone in your household tested positive for Covid recently?
- Does anyone have Covid symptoms?
So far, so standard.
I replied “no” to all of them, and then he explained that the earliest date that an engineer could come would be May 21.
Which made the four questions he asked completely pointless.
In five weeks, when the engineer turns up, we might have a Zombie pandemic, but any Covid infections will be long gone by then.
Equally, we might have been infected in the intervening period
I pointed this out to him and received the scripted response “I just have to ask the questions”.
As it turns out the old adage that there’s no such thing as a stupid question has its limits.
Are your staff asking inane questions of your clients?
Are they just ticking boxes, without engaging their brain?
How many more clients could you win and retain if you had humans talking to them, rather than the automatons they have at Thames Water?!
P.S. He couldn’t answer my Covid question as to whether the engineer coming into my house was tested daily or twice weekly for Covid – apparently my health and wellbeing is not as important as their engineer!