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Talking Turkey is Good Customer Service

By Scott Greggory

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How can I keep it moist?

Am I supposed to stuff it?

What do I do with these giblets?

Those are just a few of the questions that the experts at the Butterball Turkey Talk Line address each November and December. During the two-month holiday season, the operators – based in Naperville, Illinois – assist about 100,000 callers with their turkey-related quandaries.

The free service began in 1981 with just six home economists answering 11,000 calls that first year. Throughout the pre-Internet ‘80s, the Turkey Talk Line grew in popularity until it became an annual tradition that turkey cookers all over the country came to depend on. It provided convenient answers – in a warm, friendly way – when people needed them most.

In recent years, Butterball has adapted to handle questions from more channels: email, text, Facebook and Twitter. But the phone lines are still there, allowing people to have a person-to-person, voice-to-voice conversation.

It’s proof that many people still want a traditional, lower-tech approach to service. And it may be a reason to reconsider how your company approaches customer care.

Are you purposely “hiding” behind a website or an app? Would your customers value the personal attention that comes from a caring, well-trained phone staff? Think of the long-term goodwill that type of connection could create, as well as the valuable feedback you’d collect and the other customer needs you might uncover.

Oh, and if you have a question about your bird, call the Butterball Turkey Talk Line at 1-800-288-8372.

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