Behind-the-scenes advice for busy solo professionals courtesy of Michael Katz, Blue Penguin Development

spoke to a human being.

I’ve been on the phone a lot this week: Cable company, mortgage company, health insurance company.

The experiences were good enough, but pretty much as expected: Twenty+ minutes on hold, multiple transfers, a lot of time listening closely since, apparently, “our menu options have changed.”

This morning, I called my home insurance company: Bunker Hill Insurance.

Three things caught my attention, all of which hinted at the size of the operation:

  1. The woman who picked up the phone just said, “Hi, this is Elizabeth.” No boilerplate jargon.
  2. She had a very distinctive, local (Boston) accent.
  3. After I explained the situation (accidental double-payment), she said she would “keep an eye out for my check and send a refund right away.”

Keep an eye out? You mean the person on the phone actually has some connection to the operation itself?

We are all so used to dealing with gigantic call centers that interacting with a friendly, knowledgeable local business is a bit of a shock.

If you’re a tiny professional service firm that is trying to appear bigger than you really are, I think you may be leaning in the wrong direction.