Providing technical support to customers can sometimes be very interesting. Working in the telecommunications field, you get all sorts of people asking questions you could never even begin to imagine. With part of our company devoted to telephone and toll-free service, we have lovers leaving voice messages in “secret voicemail boxes”, sex line operators calling in with sexual harassment complaints, the list goes on and on.
Today was an exercise in tacky.
Now, I’m going to tell you up front that I’m not going to provide a link to the website I’m about to discuss. But the site in question is for a funeral home and it is an exercise in tacky right from the start.
Normally, when one thinks of a funeral home, they think of a somber, respectful place where family and friends can pay their last respects to a loved one. Personally, I think the website for a funeral home should be an extension of that atmosphere, it should be designed to be informative and respectful and should maintain a certain amount of dignity.
The website is nothing like that. There’s scrolling messages proclaiming sales. There’s a timer/clock thing that follows your mouse around the screen and when you land on the site, a woman’s voice comes booming through your speakers in an effort to sound God like. I found it so startling that I don’t even remember what it says.
Mind you, as I’m browsing this site, I have the customer on the phone and am trying to address some technical issues.
So I take a look around the site, which gives the weather in both fahrenheit and celsius, and then I jump to a registration page where music comes blaring out and it’s, get ready for it…
… “Dust In The Wind”. In glorious “I bought it at K-mart in 1987” Casio Keyboard splendor.
After listening to some music I then notice another link on the site.
TO THEIR WEBCAM.
The webcam shows the front steps so that people may get a glimpse of “pall bearers, the hearse, the automatic sprinklers or someone shoveling snow!” The cam can be repositioned to face inside the funeral home if requested.
I am proud to say that I maintained my professionalism the entire time while working with the customer on his website. Thank goodness the music and floating doodads are relegated to the Internet Explorer users.