Have you ever been forced to repeat the same story all over again to get services that you rightly deserve? How about being transferred by a customer service to the next agent on phone call only to be asked the same questions? Or maybe, do you have that small brother or sister who will not follow your instructions until you repeat it severally? Well, today I want to talk about one thing I detest most: having to repeat myself?

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When it comes to my younger brother, I try to understand that maybe it is an issue with his age and that he will get better with time. But there are those adults who will ask you to repeat the same story severally.

Recently, I had to forego some refund at the local shopping mall. The reason; I felt that the customer care personnel responsible for rectifying my order were out to waste my time and make a fool of me. It all started at the cashier’s counter where the cashier accidentally inflated my bill by counting one of the items in my shopping basket twice. At first, I thought it was a small issue that could be rectified. I had a small conversation with the cashier, who confirmed the error and directed me to another counter for rectification and refund. At the second counter, I explained myself and produced the bill as a proof. But this was not all. I still had to go to another counter, this time in the company of the cashier to explain my case to have the extra charge refunded. At this point, I just left the store with my inflated bill. I have also encountered similar problems with customer care agents on the phone where they tend to ask for some details, such as the customer ID number, several times.

Then there are those sales agents who will not get satisfied with your initial response to declining an offer. One question that comes to mind is, why I am required to give certain details or tell the same story multiple times? I know people may have issues with recalling details or retaining information, but why should that be my problem?
[Transition] You may wonder why is it a big deal about being asked some few questions several times. Here is the issue.

For many of us, being forced to repeat a story is a sign of being ineffective in your communication and powerless to the other party (Hanesian, 2015). Feeling ineffective is a painful experience that can affect our resolve to pursue certain things in life. When it comes to my younger sibling, for instance, it can be very frustrating when they just won’t listen or follow instructions until you repeat it. I am fortunate that I only have to repeat instructions to one person at home (my brother), but I cannot entirely avoid the nuisance because I have to interact with other people. Interacting with a business representative is one of the situations that I find difficult to avoid and that can easily make me feel powerless by the requirement to repeat the same story several times. Worse still, there are those representatives who will request information without considering the personal concerns about it. They start arguing and make demands that it is a procedural requirement to have such information collected. I am not saying that people should not ask me for personal details, but I believe that there is a proper way of doing it especially when it involves a business representative. I do not have to feel powerless and ineffective when explaining my case to anyone. The person in need of such details has a responsibility to ensure that it is done in a respectable manner.

[Transition] Are you in customer service or a related role that involves collecting information from other people? If yes, you may need to make certain changes to keep your clients satisfied with the service.

According to Hyken (2016), requiring other people to repeat themselves can be inconveniencing and time wasting. Customers may get angry when they are required to repeat the same story several times just to have their issues sorted. Additionally, a lot of time and other resources are wasted in the process of collecting the same information several times. Personally, I feel that business representatives who force clients to repeat the same story are not qualified to perform their role. There are plenty of arrangements that can be made to streamline the flow of information across customer care agents so that the next agent does not have to ask the customer to explain themselves again. At the core of any customer care program should be considerations on how to keep the clients satisfied and engaged (Varshneya, 2017). One of the basic considerations should be the best way to make use of a client’s time when he/she is seeking services.

[Transition] Now that you know the big deal about it, here is how to address it.
Stop wasting other people’s time and making them feel powerless and ineffective in what they do. It is very inconvenient to have a person repeat their story as it can only make them more frustrated. Besides, it is a waste of time for business representatives to create procedures that make the client feel powerless in the pursuit of various services. Making good use of your customer’s time can translate into a more satisfying relationship, and hence a winning combination. It is important to appreciate that not everyone will be willing to provide personal details or make personal explanations for several people to get a problem sorted. I believe that it is the responsibility of the person concerned with handling information to come up with ways to record and save it for use as desired. So, next time do not ask me to repeat the same story several times if you plan to maintain a meaningful relationship.

  • Hanesian, L. (2015). How many times do I have to repeat myself? None. Retrieved from https://www.courierpostonline.com/story/driving-lessons/2015/05/19/how-many-times-do-i-have-to-repeat-myself-none/27581103/
  • Hyken, S. (2016). Why must i repeat myself again and again? Retrieved from https://hyken.com/customer-care/why-must-i-repeat-myself-again-and-again/
  • Varshneya, R. (2017). 4 Ways to Keep Customers Engaged for Life. INC. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/rahul-varshneya/4-strategies-to-engage-current-customers.html