“You are caller number…24 in the queue.”

Being on hold has started to feel like the modern version of purgatory; a digital iteration of the state of limbo. Or is it just what happens when some CFO says, ‘I’m not really sure we need this many people answering the phones’?I can remember when ‘customer service’ was the watchword of every successful business. Business gurus and heads of industry drilled into us all that we should put the customer first and, if we did that, all would be well.

Back in the day you found the number, picked up the phone, dialled the number and within less than a minute you were talking to someone who’s job it was to help you; and that was a job they could actually do.

Then one day you dialled the number and you were told that Blogs and Co, or whoever, were currently experiencing a very high level of calls and perhaps if you were to send them an email or visit their website then that might be better for all concerned. The next time you rang you were told that your call was important to them. Which was nice to know.

The last time you rang you were put on hold and played a long list of sales messages that left you nostalgic for the old days of a looped version of Greensleeves. You are still on that call. You are still…number 24 in the queue.

This is caused by? Covid. Brexit. Ukraine. (You may tick more than one box.)

Spiralling energy costs and increases in the cost of living have been influenced by the global events that we have all witnessed, but I also think a lot of companies have seen an opportunity to cut costs and increase profits.

Being profitable and profiteering used to be seen as very different things but I think the lines have become blurred now. And who are we told is to blame? If you believe the media, we are. Our pension fund managers apparently insist that profits increase every year. The markets, or so we are told, will go into a state of meltdown if profits dip. Which is fine, but I actually haven’t noticed my pension pot getting any bigger.

But I’m sure all that money is being looked after by someone with my best interests at heart. I’d ring them up to check but… you know.

Meanwhile, across the pond.

Chief Twit Elon Musk finally gets into the birds nest and, like a cuckoo, rearranges the board. Spaceships, electric cars and now Twitter; it seems reminiscent of someone buying all the toys he couldn’t have as a child.

America’s other wunderkind, Zuckerberg, has lost $71billion this year. The Metaverse looks like being virtually a good idea rather than actually a good idea.

America will be great again; the Donald has said he is coming back to make it so and we live in a country where a lettuce outlasted a Prime Minister. By comparison to the States, it all seems rather sane and reasonable.

Has that piqued your interest?

For a very long time we have lived in an economy where money was cheap; low interest rates and low mortgage rates. That is starting to look like it is no longer the case. Combine that with bigger bills for energy and just about everything else and things start to look challenging for individuals and for businesses.

Q8 What would you say were the things that had the biggest influence on your business this year?

For the last twelve years this has been a question in the Wet Leisure Industry Survey. Back in the ‘good old days’ it was always a fight between the weather and the Internet as to which of those two demons had the biggest effect. Last year Covid won by a clear margin.

What will we see this year? Energy costs? The cost of living? Ukraine? Lettuce? It’s hard to know.

It will be impossible to know unless you, and everyone else, take the survey. There are just twenty questions and it generally takes less than ten minutes, but there are lots of comment boxes and if you want to leave a lot of comments – and its great when people do – you can spend as long as you want.

There are lots of good reasons why you should take part in the Industry Survey but this quote from a couple of years ago sums it up pretty well.

“We think the survey is a great idea and use the printed report to help guide our marketing strategy, as it does seem to have a finger on the pulse of the industry. Keep it up.”
This quote, like all the survey responses, is anonymous.

There are links to the survey on goldenc.com and wetleisure.com as well as on emails in your inbox and updates on social media. You can respond on line or by a paper form.

No telephone option is available though. If you would like to talk to us about that you are caller number…24 in the queue.