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In The News

The Wall Street Journal — Book Review

Please, Stay on the Line — A tour through the maddening world of customer service. — By Barbara D. Phillips  … In “Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us,” Emily Yellin strives to “seek out the humanity and reason behind the customer service experiences that many people find to be inhuman and nonsensical.”

Ms. Yellin, a Memphis-based journalist, mixes polls and studies with excerpts from published reports and her own insightful reporting from call centers and related businesses in the U.S. and overseas. read more …


CBS Sunday Morning – CBS TV

“When we call, what we want is ‘yes,’ that’s it,” said Emily Yellin, the author of “Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us,” a revealing look at customer service in the United States. read and watch more …


Morning Edition — National Public Radio

“It’s almost a PTSD we have with bad customer service,” said journalist Emily Yellin. She wrote a book on the customer service call experience Your Call is Not That Important To Us. listen to  more …


Talk of the Nation — National Public Radio

Frustrating customer service stories are commonplace. For her book Your Call Is (Not That) Important To Us, Emily Yellin looked into the history and future of customer service. She spoke with people at every link of the customer service chain. And she thinks it’s possible things will improve. Host Neal Conan talks to Emily Yellin and they take listener calls. listen to more...


Newsweek — Page Turner

by Matthew Phillips – After death, taxes and inclement weather, it’s one of life’s most inescapable downers: the customer-service call. Getting help can be an automated hell, an eternity of Muzak, code punching and security questions. Which is why the title of Emily Yellin’s customer-friendly romp through this unfriendly world rings so true: “Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us.” read more …


U.S. Airways Magazine — Must Read

Customer service can make or break a business’s reputation. Excerpt of first chapter of the book. read more …


Fortune Q &A

NEW YORK (Fortune) — Most Americans dread calling customer service, and it’s easy to see why. Whether it’s the seemingly endless “press 1 now” steps, android representatives, or long waits, it can seem like companies just don’t care.

So why has this multibillion-dollar industry gotten so bad, and will it ever get better? Emily Yellin tackles the question in her new book. read more …


U.S. News & World Report — Alpha Consumer — Q & A

by Kimberly Palmer – Why Customer Service Has Gotten So Bad – Wondering why you have to wait on hold for an hour each time your credit card company makes a mistake? Or why the cable company demands that you sit at home for three hours and wait for its representative to show up? Journalist Emily Yellin’s new book, Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us: Customer Service and What It Reveals About Our World and Our Lives, answers those questions and more. She takes on the customer service industry, and explains why it makes so many of us miserable. read more …

Listen to the U.S. News & World Report Alpha Consumer podcast …


Here & Now — Public Radio International

Please Hold. Your Call Is (Not That) Important To Us: We make 43 billion customer service calls a year and despite outsourcing, it’s a growing industry in the U.S. Businesses are realizing they need to get customer service right, and they are turning to scientists working in artificial intelligence and psychology to devise better systems, both human and automated. We speak with journalistEmily Yellin, author of, “Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us.” listen to more…


The Conversation with Ross Reynolds — KUOW-FM Seattle

If You’d Like To Hear A Segment On Customer Service, Please Press One – Emily Yellin joins us to talk about the ever changing world of customer service. We also take listener calls. listen to more …

Miami Herald — You Can Get Most Anything at a Kiosk

By Bridget Carey – Check in at the doctor’s, rent DVDs, buy swimsuits at the latest self-service machines… Emily Yellin, author of customer service book Your Call is (Not That) Important to Us, hasn’t been a big fan of kiosks since a kiosk malfunctioned when she tried to get movie tickets in New York. read more…


New York Daily News

Customer service is a two-way street: Remain calm to get what you want — by Jean Chatsky — Before picking up the phone to deal with a pesky customer service issue, make an outline for yourself in order to help stay calm.  read more …


Ventura County Star

Customer disservice  – Frustrated consumers can vent on Internet, so poor responses can sink company reputations.  By Stephanie Hoops     If you’ve ever been asked to hold for an operator only to be left waiting until your ear grows numb, Emily Yellin feels your pain — so much so that she wrote a book about it. read more …

New York City Public Radio — The Brian Lehrer Show — WNYC

Americans make more than 43 billion customer service calls each year. To find out what’s really going on at the other end of the line, Emily Yellin, author of the new book, Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us, traveled the world to investigate the multi-billion dollar customer service industry. hear the segment

Customer Creation Podcast

Blake Landau interviews Emily Yellin, whose new book is a modern, humorous and engaging account of the customer service industry today. In this interview, Yellin gives surprising and counterintuitive insights into her in-the-trenches customer service research. Yellin gives a fair account of customer service and contact center issues. She has interviewed hundreds of people at corporations, call center representatives, customers and everyone in between.  hear the podcast …

AARP Radio

Your Call Is (Not That) Important – What Lousy Customer Service Reveals About Our World – When you call for customer care, do you ever feel like your call is not that important to the representative helping you?

If so, you’re not alone. Every year, more than 43 billion calls are made to customer service representatives, yet companies still haven’t learned the value of good customer service.

Journalist Emily Yellin explores the inner workings of this multi-billion-dollar industry in her book: “Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us: Customer Service and What It Reveals About Our World and Our Lives.” hear the segment …

Brent Leary’s CRM blog and podcast

… In the immortal words of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – “Don’t push me cuz I’m close to the edge, I’m trying not to lose my head…”. There are too many ways for us as customers to show our discontent that go way beyond just not spending our hard-earned dollars….  Emily Yellin and I recently had a fun conversation about her book. She shares some insights she gained from conversations with folks like Fedex CEO Fred Smith and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. She also talks about the Customer Rage study, and the things that surprised her as she traveled throughout the world visiting call centers in places like Egypt and Argentina. listen to the podcast …


The Memphis Flyer

Call Waiting  – Can business and customers find common ground?  by Leonard Gill – Fed up with customer service by phone? God knows you’ve got your reasons: the wait, the runaround, that voice from halfway around the world…. [Customer service is]  according to Emily Yellin, a barometer of how we communicate and how we treat each other not only nationally but globally and across all sorts of barriers. ”Race, gender, class, nationality … customer service is a crossroads of contemporary culture,” Yellin said. “From people on welfare to Nordstrom shoppers, it’s an amazing way to look at the world.” read more …

Memphis Commercial Appeal

A journalist, she was taking notes, keeping track of each exasperating conversation and the names of each person who stood between her and warmth. Suddenly her frustrations crystallized: “‘Somebody ought to look into this, and I could be the one to do it.’ “ read more …

The Afternoon Magazine with Celeste Quinn — Champaign-Urbana Public Radio

Celeste Quinn interviews Emily Yellin and they take listeners calls. hear the show …

New Hampshire Public Radio — Word of Mouth

By Virgina Prescott  – Calling customer service often feels like you’re in a one way relationship. It’s time to face it: your call center’s just not that into you. hear the segment

KMOX St. Louis The Mark Reardon Show

Customer service is important to most every person whether it be the customer or the employer. Mark talks about that and more with Emily Yellin, author of “Your Call is (not that) Important to Us.” hear the segment …

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Book Review

Emily Yellin’s book begins in a similarly satisfying way when she describes a real-life customer’s infuriating search for service at a “communications” company. The customer, 76, turns into a folk hero by applying a hammer to a Comcast rep’s keyboard.  read more …

Frugal Yankee with Garen Daly

Emily Yellin tells how calling customer service is a disservice in her book YOUR CALL IS (not that) IMPORTANT TO US, an examination of a huge, aggravating industry. We ask, “Is there hope or will we be on hold forever? hear the podcast …

Washington Post Book World podcast — Ron Charles interviews Emily Yellin

hear the podcast …


Tampa Tribune — 2 Months After J.D. Power Honor, Regulators Stepped In At WellCare

By Richard Mullins — Tampa

…”Some skepticism by consumers is a healthy thing here,” said Emily Yellin , author of “Your Call is Not That Important To Us,” which is about call centers. Ratings companies may interview thousands of customers of a service provider, but “it’s all about how you phrase the question.” read more …

Reuters: Business Books: Customer service, from both ends of the phone

By Lisa Von Ahn — New York — There’s no question that “customer care representatives” are the people U.S. customers love to hate, but the feeling is often mutual. Consumers gripe about the confusing phone prompts, lengthy hold times and ill-prepared employees that are often the hallmarks of a call to a company — and many have no compunction about taking their frustration out on those at the other end of the phone.

Emily Yellin, author of an upcoming book with the tongue-in-cheek title “Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us,” sees room for improvement on both sides. read more …

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