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No, I won’t hold

Apparently I lost a customer (read:sales) by putting her on hold.

Now, sometimes there is a literal store full of people and four lines ringing at the same time. Sometimes there is only one employee to handle this rush. This was one of those times.

When we can’t assist the people on the phone right away, they get put on hold. Generally we finish up with the person that actually took the time to come into the store, then before helping the next guy in line, we answer the phone. (Otherwise the phone makes a really annoying beeping sound until we answer it.) Usually it works out ok, because phone questions are 95% a question of 1) where we are, 2) what time we close, or 3) do we have something in stock. And I’m not disparaging this practice at all – I’d rather take the 2 seconds to answer a phone question than hear “I drove all this way and you can’t help me!”

This time started out like any other. “Thank you for calling <the store>, can you hold please?” I always wait for the ok because sometimes they go ahead and ask their quick question now rather than wait. That is acceptable. So the person said ok and I put them on hold. Not 30 seconds later, the phone rang aggain. We have caller ID, so I saw that it was the same person calling back. So I did the same thing – answered and asked them to hold. I didn’t tell them this, but there was already another person ahead of them, since they got impatient and hung up only to immediately re-call. This time when asked if she could hold, she said “I don’t think so. And I won’t be shopping there.” And hung up.

Well, no skin off my back. If you’re that impatient, I don’t want to deal with you in person anyway. And as your reward, you’ll either end up paying more for your product, or getting a shoddy product that you order for cheap on the internet. Obviously we are busy enough that we don’t need you. (And chances are very high that you wouldn’t be spending a lot of money, since if you were really “in the market,” you’d know that we are the only specialized store of this nature for at least an hours’ drive in any direction.)

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