Adapting to world-wide customer service

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By Ned Cantwell

If New Mexico newspapers are to compete in a tech world that has changed the rules of the competitive game, they need to adapt.No more calling your local columnist the old fashioned way. Remember? You dial. He answers. You converse. That is so yesterday.To lead my colleagues into the new age of communication and customer service, this column is establishing a modern system with agents in a far land trained to give immediate and courteous service to its readers.Here’s what you can expect when you dial my number.“Hello. Thank you so much for your call. We live and breathe to serve you. We have recently updated our telephone menu. Please pay close attention. If you want to yell at the columnist and tell him he is a liberal idiot, press 1. If you want to tell him you’ve seen better writing on bathroom walls, press 2. If you want to comment on a column you found particularly clever, amusing or insightful, press 3 and you will be answered in 1.5 seconds.“If you are calling for any other reason, press 0 and you will eventually talk to a human being.“Thank you for calling our customer service center. We live and breathe to serve you. Your call is number 167 in line.“Thank you for waiting 2 hours and 43 minutes. We live and breathe to serve you. You will be connected to an actual human in actual moments.”Finally: “Allo. Grateful I am to speak with you today. Please for me to have your customer service number?”“I don’t have no customer service number. I just want to tell you my newspaper subscription is history if you don’t cancel the Cantwell column.”“I see. Thank you. We are eternally happy you called us about this. As I understand your issue, your newspaper does not function in a proper manner?”“No! That is not my issue. My newspaper functions just fine, thank you. The problem is that the columnist is a weak-kneed liberal dunce and I am sick and tired of seeing his claptrap every week.”“Yes, I understand. Please to wait two or three minutes while I research this issue? ...“Thank you so much for waiting. You are calling from Hobbs, N.M., U.S.A., is that accurate I am convenient to ask?”“No! What makes you think I am calling from Hobbs, for heaven’s sake?”“Oh, I am pleased to be sorry I am inaccurate. Most of our reek-kaneed leeberal doonce calls come from Hobbs, N.M., U.S.A.”“Well, it just so happens I am calling from Rio Rancho!”“Yes, thank you for this wonderful information. You have many space aliens in Rio Rancho, N.M., yes?”“Oh, my sweet butt, no. That’s Roswell. Look, you’re not getting it. Point is, I am an Angry White Male. There’s millions of us out here that don’t need no Obamer, and we don’t need no more Clintons. We just want America back, a place where we can roam the hills and shoot things and we don’t need no illegal immigrants sneaking across our borders.”“Yes, please to wait two or three minutes while I research this issue?”“Oh, boy. OK, I’ll wait.”“Thank you for your beautiful patience. I find your newspaper subscription does not protect you from illegal emagrants.”“Enough, already! Let me talk to your danged supervisor!”“It is my understanding you want to talk to a supervisor, is that correct?”“YES!”“Please for me to have your customer service number?”

Guess who just bought a new laptop? That’s right: ncantwell@beyondbb.com.