Seth Godin: In the old days, you’d go down to the American Express office and talk to a real person. They would use eye contact and hand motions and could gauge your responses in order to make themselves understood.

Today, when you’re on permahold, listening to a recording at Amex, you only have the classical musical loop and the words they’ve chosen.

So when they choose the wrong words, when they ask you to do silly things (additional information? which additional information?) it makes you think they’re not as smart as you’d like them to be.

As we see in the warning sign below, in an environment where you can’t react in real time, the words you choose are critically important to the message you send.

More here.