Customer Service Is The New PR

Photograph of three customer service representatives

Customer Service Is The New PR


Stella Service

Only 21 of the Internet’s top 100 retailers connect shoppers directly to a live agent.

Consumer Reports

71% of shoppers become extremely irritated when they cannot reach another human being on the phone.

67% of them got so frustrated they hung up the phone without resolving their issue at all.

THOUGHT: These may seem like no-duh numbers but they point to an interesting cultural shift. 

It was not all that long ago that being put on hold and navigating phone trees was standard operating procedure for most organizations. And we accepted that.

Someone somewhere decided automation could do the same job as human beings and everyone followed suit except there was one nagging little detail: Automation cannot always replace human beings. 

But now that we do so much of our communication online through email and social media and typically on a one-to-one basis with another human being, we know there are alternatives to automated “customer service.” Knowing our options, we naturally avoid the unpleasant ones because we can. 

Since in our everyday lives we have one-to-one communication with everyone else, we tend to expect our retailers to offer the same, and if they don’t, we can probably find someone who does. 

A phone tree, after all, can’t sense and respond to our frustration. We’re not convinced that once we’ve left a voice mail message, we will have been heard

In my experience, people who have a complaint with a company mostly just want to be heard. 

If you refuse to listen, your customers’ frustration will only continue to broil but if you solve your customers’ problems, you’ll probably have an outspoken fan for life. 

Customer service is the new PR.


THROWBACK THURSDAY: The Year 2000 as interpreted through post cards from the 1900s.



Thank you for childhood myths.



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