Dread waiting in ‘telephone queue hell’? Internode’s real-time Flash display of its sales and support phone queues sets a new standard for ISPs to follow
“Your call is important to us, please hold... your call is important to us, please hold...”. Anyone phoning their ISP for technical support can do without that recorded parrot-like recitation, but few ISPs give more than lip service to the notion.
But Internode, which usually sits at the top of the customer satisfaction tree in in any survey of Australian ISPs, has unveiled a new Flash-based Web service to help you spend less time in the queue even before you pick up the phone.Now would be a good time to call: Internode’s real-time display of call queues and waiting times also shows the trends over the most recent 24 hour period
Click on http://www.internode.on.net/customer-service
and you can see a real-time display of the company’s phone queues for tech support, sales and billing enquiries for both consumer and business plans. In addition to the current number of queued calls and the wait time until each call is answered, the page also charts the average number of queued calls and wait times over the past 24 hour period.
The software, which was cooked up by Internode’s resident boffins and is still in a beta stage, goes several steps beyond the call waiting stats
available to iiNet customers, and Internode still gives queued customers the option to enter their phone number (landline or mobile) for a free callback service.
The service not only adds to the transparency of Interode’s operations but helps lighten the load on its call centre staff. Customers can check the queue times before they call – and, if there’s a bit of a wait and their need isn’t urgent, they can choose to cal back later (and even use the 24 hour chart to pick a time when the wait times are likely to be much shorter).
This also means that those with urgent calls stand a better chance of a faster response because potential non-urgent callers have voluntarily opted out until later. We’d like to see more ISPs, and customer service departments in general, adopt this ‘win-win’ Web technology.