I had a phone company problem for seven months that I only just this week resolved. It wasn’t a complicated problem. Every person I spoke with at the company knew the fix, and they all assured me it was just about to be fixed. But month-after-month the issue persisted. I called the store so frequently that I was on a first name basis with every staff person there. I went through two store managers during this time. They both said all the right things on the phone. I started keeping notes of our conversations:
“I’m going to get that fixed for you.”
“Yeah, just give me a couple of days to resolve the issue.”
“I’m sorry this has taken so long. I’m going to take care of it.”
What finally solved the problem? I went to the store in person. I walked in on a Friday afternoon and introduced myself politely. Of course, the manager knew who I was right away. I didn’t even need to explain why I was there. He disappeared into the back to “check some emails” about the matter and returned two minutes later to report that it was fixed.
This is a company whose business is the most advanced communications technology the world has ever seen, and yet getting things done with them requires face-to-face, in person interaction.
That technology will always be useful.