Friday, May 15, 2009

Handshake Project: AT&T

I've been trying this thing for awhile now where I try to force people into being on the same plane of authority in situations where they are typically the ones who have to solve my problem. Now when I say problem, it could be anything from a hostess that needs to seat me to a verbally battered airline service rep that's already dealt with fifty stranded travelers. So, I'm using the word "problem" loosely.

The thing is called a handshake.
And you know what... it's disarming!

Yesterday, I noticed that my AT&T bill was incorrect. I'd upgraded part of my service (due to a text-crazy-Jane) in mid-month, which prompted five strange charges that were supposed to be pro-rated to the days of the outgoing and incoming plans. Long story short; they boffed it and owed me $19.

AT&T: When I called, I got the usual fast-paced mumbo-jumbo resulting in, "Can you please verify your account by giving me your ______?"
Me: I responded with, "Yes, I can provide that information, but I'd like to say hello first. My name is Robert Roth, how are you doing today?"
AT&T: "Oh, I'm fine Mr. Roth! How are you?" the service agent replied suddenly caught off-guard.
Me: "I'm great, thank you. The verification you requested is ______."


She listened to my problem, took the time to understand it and within minutes we'd worked out the solution. I verified the credit through my online account and we wished each other a great weekend.

Read about the other Handshake Project experiences.


MarKansaSity said...

I thought of you/your project yesterday. I went to Bass Pro Outdoor World in Independence for the first time (the place is GINORMOUS!). As we entered an older gentleman stationed at the turnstiled entrance stood up, said "Hello, Welcome to Outdoor World" and stood in our way with a big smile and his hand out-stretched. Only after shaking our hands did he move out of the way and gesture for us to come in "Welcome and enjoy your visit!" he said. "Wow", I said back in my head, "Can't wait to tell Bobby about this."

Robert Zamees said...

Was it a positive experience or was it weird?

MarKansaSity said...

it was odd. a little uncomfortable. but seemingly genuine and therefore kind of nice. but still weird. i guess the real indicator is that if i were to go back there and presented with the option of entering through the door with the enthusiastic hand-shaking greeter versus a greeter-free entry, i'd choose the latter.