Top Telephone Pet Peeve Is Put On Hold

By Nancy Friedman, Telephone Doctor

After fifteen years of being number one, “Being put on hold” dropped to the third spot in Telephone Doctor’s “What Bugs You on the Telephone?” survey.  What’s the new number one complaint? The automated attendant!

Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, with headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, recently conducted a survey to update the biggest telephone pet peeves of the American public. With hundreds of submissions received and a multitude of various aggravations, the automated attendant won hands down as the biggest frustration. “Especially when there is no option for a human,” said Nancy Friedman, president of Telephone Doctor and noted expert on customer service and communication skills.

Nancy says, “We hear from audiences all over the country, and there’s not a single program that we present where we don’t hear grumbles about the automated attendant (AA). We also found out that, while AA is aggravating, the menus and the messages can oftentimes be worse.

“Saying, ‘Your call is very important to me’ sends callers up a wall,” said Nancy. Callers think, “Yeah?  If I’m so important, why aren’t you there?”

So what’s second on the “dirty dozen” list?  Lack of good manners, rudeness, and not having a good attitude. If you’re concerned about cell phones, they came in fifth.  Or more succinctly – the users of the cell phones and their horrible manners: loud talkers, ill-timed calls, and obnoxious ringtones.

Top Telephone Pet Peeves:

1. Automated attendant

2. Lack of good manners, rudeness, and bad attitude

3. Being put on hold

4. Speakerphones

5. Cell phones

6. Foreign accents, speaking too fast, not speaking clearly

7. Eating or chewing gum while on the phone

8. Voicemail

9. Transferring calls improperly

10. Background noises

11. Carryover conversation

12. Not returning phone calls

Nancy Friedman is president of Telephone Doctor, a customer service training company in St. Louis, MO.

[From Connection Magazine November 2006]