'Your Call Is (Not That) Important To Us' Frustrating customer service stories are commonplace. For her book Your Call Is (Not That) Important To Us, Emily Yellin looked into the history and future of customer service. She thinks it's possible things will improve.

'Your Call Is (Not That) Important To Us'

'Your Call Is (Not That) Important To Us'

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Emily Yellin spent time at outsourced call centers for Office Depot in Argentina, and Microsoft in Egypt. Sharon Bicks hide caption

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Sharon Bicks

Listen in as NPR's Neva Grant sets up Tom, the flight information automated service guy, and Amtrak Julie.

Frustrating customer service stories are commonplace. You're likely to encounter bad saxophone music and countless "press one for" instructions before actually reaching a live human being... And even then, only if you're lucky.

For her book Your Call Is (Not That) Important To Us, Emily Yellin looked into the history and future of customer service. She spoke with people at every link of the customer service chain.

Yellin sought out "Amtrak Julie," the woman who is the voice behind Amtrak's recording. She sat in a call center in Memphis and listened in on calls to FedEx coming in from all over the world. She spent time with the Mormon housewives in Salt Lake City who answer calls from Jet Blue customers. She even met with the creators of a yearly customer rage study.

Fortunately, Yellin thinks it's possible things will improve. She concludes that thanks to the Internet and global competition, companies are going to have to take their customers' needs more seriously.