Is the Call Back Dead?
I don’t know what your experience has been, but lately it seems to me that almost no one calls back as promised.
If your neighbor fails to follow through, that’s one thing. But if a vendor, customer, or other business associate doesn’t call back, that’s quite another.
Consequences of the failed call back
From my perspective there are two things that bug me when someone in business doesn’t call back:
- It is a broken promise. Can I depend on future assurances from this individual?
- It means more work for me. I have to track the person down to get the answers that the call back was supposed to provide.
Readings on broken promises
I guess I’m not alone in recognizing the problem of the failed call back. A few years ago, Seth Godin wrote a blog on the topic. He opined that it may be easier for someone (e.g., an employee) to “make a promise and pass it along than it is to either tell the truth or keep the promise.”
Surely, a business culture that creates this attitude is flawed. I would put the responsibility at the top. If an owner of a small business fails to return a call as promised, it sets a precedent for staff to follow suit.
More recently, “the most famous customer service manager in the world,” Frank Eliason, Citibank’s VP of Social Media, had this to say:
“Companies do not want to talk to you, and it shows. It seems they’re too concerned with the cost and time involved.”
As my parents used to say, “even if everybody is doing it, that doesn’t make it right.” You can differentiate your business and yourself by doing what you promise when you say you’ll call back. If you don’t know when that will be, say so, but call back!