05Feb2009

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

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I had to telephone another company yesterday to sort out an issue. I had to chuckle to myself as after I had navigated through their multitude of annoying telephone menus and finally got the sound of ringing, I was presented with an automated recording of a rather confused sounding lady saying something along the lines of:

“We apologise for the lengthy call queues while we try to connect you, however the recent severe weather conditions have had an effect on our answer times”

Now I’ve heard my fair share of excuses as to why companies just simply don’t pick up a telephone quickly enough, but this is the first time I’ve heard it blamed on the snow!

I had images of their telephones buried under a big mound of snow, or the handsets frozen onto the telephone unit, or even all their staff having snowball fights outside.

Putting cynicism aside, I would image they meant that their staff could not get into their office because of the knock-on effects to the traffic and public transport, so they were operating with reduced numbers. Understandable?

Not by a long shot I’m afraid…

Here at Daily.co.uk all our team have the ability to connect to our office remotely, so we have access to all our systems and can access our telephone system as well using ‘softphones’ (i.e. a software version of our telephone running on a computer with a mic and headset connected). If for any reason we can’t get to our office (be it the weather, closed roads or anything else) then we can be connected up in a matter of seconds

I myself am typing this blog article sitting at home with my laptop, with my telephone running and our Support ticket system and Livechat system open. After getting nowhere fast in today’s traffic jams due to the snow, I turned around, came home and logged in remotely.

The only downside to all this is that I will have to make my own cups of tea and I have a very nosy cat taking an interest in my keyboard.

So if you do hear anything daft when dealing with other companies as to why they don’t have any staff available because of the snow, then you may want to ask them what their contigency plans are and if they find it acceptable to have their customer service dictated by the weather!

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