When is enough enough?
I once called a client to schedule her production. It sounds like a pretty simple thing to do, right? Well, no such luck.
When I called and got into her auto attendant, I waited for the option to leave a voicemail message. I waited and waited and waited. I was forced to listen to a minute and a half commercial about her business before I finally got the option I needed. To put it mildly, I was the walking picture of savage frustration.
She had a pleasant voice. But I didn’t call up to listen to her boast about her business. I needed to schedule an appointment. And I was rapidly running out of time.
There’s a lot that can be said about writing professionally, producing efficiently, and editing cleanly. But at some point, you have to get to the point. There’s nothing like angering your customers before you even meet them.
Frequently, I have to remind clients that their auto attendant is not supposed to be a commercial or voicemail. It’s a functional substitute for a human being. There are creative ways to make the auto attendant memorable, pleasant, and even fun. We just have to remember to not let the ego get in the way.
And then there is the mobile pharmacy that sent over a five-page script for their auto attendant. I persuaded them to let me rewrite it that I could condense some of the things down to a manageable amount of words. I won a few of the wars. But overall, it’s still just too much.
Remember who you’re talking to. You’re talking to your clients and potential customers. They don’t want to get trapped on the phone listening to a long recording. And speaking as a former television science reporter, it doesn’t help to go overboard with technical jargon. Even if people who call are technically savvy, it’s easy for anybody to get lost in wordy communication.
Enough with the lecture on wordiness. Enough is enough. I’m sure you get the point.