When the slogan goes too far

I was feeling flabby, so I joined a gym recently here. This morning, I found out how they answer the phone:

“Hi, welcome to Gold’s Gym, how can we change your life today?”

This girl that answered, I know her– she’s the pregnant girl that works at the front desk, really friendly girl. But hearing this on the phone, nothing is more shocking. So I asked if it was policy which, of course, it was.

They likely hired this girl because of her personality and of how outgoing she is. Why do they want to stamp that out now?





8 responses to “When the slogan goes too far”

  1. Linda Avatar

    A few Philadelphia winters ago I had occasion (or, more precisely, about 10 occasions) to call colleagues at a business meeting in southern California. By the fourth time the hotel operator answered with “It’s a beautiful day at La Quinta Hotel and Resort in [city, state, practically latitude and longitude…] – and how may I direct your call?”, I apologized quickly for my interruption (at the “It’s a beaut…”) before naming a person who was obviously a lot luckier with weather than I was back on the snowy East Coast. (Thanks, operator, for rubbing it in already…)

    I wonder how many work days are lost because of laryngitis.

  2. Peter O'Connell Avatar

    I’ve done work with a radio station whose practically teenaged receptionists (who seemingly work for free concert tickets and t-shirts…I’ve worked in radio and its considered currency) answer the phone thusly:

    “it’s a great day at COMPANY NAME! i’m NAME HERE, your director of first impressions. How may I direct your call.”

    I suppose it’s friendly, upbeat and customer service oriented while having the added benefit of leading to more hang ups from callers…many of whom probably forgot the reason for their call following that extremely lengthy introduction!

    Go Sabres.

  3. Jenn Avatar

    I wish more companies/people would be friendly like that on the phone. I’m so tired of the monotonousness of the vast majority of callers.

  4. Chris Lamothe Avatar

    My wife works for a Canadian bank where they are forced to ask each customer if their experience was a “fantastic” one. I can’t help but think of the movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure where they offer everyone to “be excellent” with each other.

  5. Mark - tartanpodcast.com Avatar

    What’s wrong with hello? You already know who you dialed.

  6. Julien Avatar

    and the worst is that you’re prompted to say “well, no, it wasn’t fantastic”. most experiences aren’t, but somehow they expect them to be.

  7. anji bee Avatar

    next time answer something they aren’t expecting but would be truthful of someone calling a gym, like “well… you can help me get laid today.”

  8. Kat Avatar

    Companies (corporations, especially) believe that the customer wants a uniform, homogenic experience every time. This is why automated systems exist, naturally, but that doesn’t cut it; the customer wants a human experience. Ergo, the outgoing, friendly girl at your gym. Unfortunately, her own personality is not enough to guarantee a satisfactory customer experience– it must be made safe, easily recognizable, identifiable (branded, you might say). There must be no fluctuation in the quality of service delivered to each customer, so a script is provided.

    While us thinking humans like to have our individuality recognized, most are just making their call. The problem lies in the fact that this majority want an experience which is uniform, personalized and human, while at the same time efficient. Not an easy feat to accomplish, hence, the ridiculously long greetings, etc. I agree with Jenn, that customer service calls are tedious, and some cheer is always appreciated, but I can smell a script like a fart in a car, and frankly, I’ve never found it to improve the level of service. I hear the words, but the tone and delivery tell me all I need to know.

    What it comes down to is this: they won’t stamp out your gym receptionist’s personality, only force her to mask it a little for the comfort of those with no patience or the inability to see beyond their own egos.

    Thank you for choosing Starbucks. Have a great day!

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