Bring up the subject of calling customer service and the blood pressure of everyone within earshot rises exponentially. Otherwise calm, rational, and intelligent people go into extended rants about an industry that seems to grow more and more inhuman and unhelpful with every encounter we have. And each American contacts customer service an average of 143 times per year, or 2 to 3 times per week.
In her engaging, funny, and far-reaching new book Your Call Is (Not That) Important To Us, journalist Emily Yellin explores the inner-workings the multi-billion-dollar customer service industry. She traverses the country and the world watching, listening, and talking to customers, customer service workers, managers, consultants and corporate CEOs at such companies as Comcast, FedEx, JetBlue, Sprint, Zappos, Amtrak, Credit Suisse, and many others. Yellin goes straight to the center of the global intersection of consumers and companies that is customer service, and finds the real human beings and often surreal corporate policies lurking behind its aggravating facade.
Yellin’s vast reporting in Your Call Is (Not That) Important To Us sheds light on the complex forces that create these sometimes infuriating experiences, chronicles how the internet and competition worldwide are forcing businesses to take their customers’ needs more seriously, and offers hope from people inside and outside the globalized corporate world fighting to make customer service better for us all.
Your Call Is (Not That) Important To Us is an eye-opening and touching account of the way companies treat their customers, how customers treat the people who serve them, and how technology, globalization, class, race, gender, and culture influence these interactions. Frustrated customers, smart CEOs, and caring customer service reps alike will find this lively examination of the crossroads of world commerce — the point where businesses and their customers meet — enlightening, compelling, and useful.