What’s behind those annoying customer service hold times?
Jul 27, 2023

What’s behind those annoying customer service hold times?

Staffing shortages at call centers have only worsened since the pandemic began. Plus, which jobs are most threatened by artificial intelligence?

Segments From this episode

The Fed keeps trying to take away the punch bowl — but the economy parties on

Jul 27, 2023
Economists expected a downturn in economic growth from the first quarter’s 2% annual rate. Instead, growth accelerated to 2.4%.
The newest GDP report showed greater investment in auto and airplane factories, among other things.
Juliette Michel/AFP via Getty Images

Businesses are stocking inventory again

Jul 27, 2023
Businesses spent 2022 offloading a glut of inventory, but — in a good sign for the economy — they’re starting to carry more products now.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

How an Iowa farmer pushes through less-than-average crop yields

Jul 27, 2023
It takes a "that's farming, buddy!" attitude — and crop insurance helps, too.
"That's farming, buddy!" says April Hemmes, a corn and soybean farmer, in the face of drought in her home state of Iowa.
Ben Hethcoat/Marketplace

Co-buying a house with your best friend

Jul 27, 2023
The lack of affordability has spurred “nontraditional setups” like this partnership between women who trust each other and work well together.
In 2022, Cass Lang, left, and Jordan Heiden bought a home together in Vermont. “We both wanted the same thing at the same time, so why would we not do it?” Lang said.
Courtesy Lang

Artificial intelligence will impact workplaces and cost some workers their jobs

Jul 27, 2023
A new report from the McKinsey Global Institute says some will lose their jobs and low-wage workers are the most likely to be hit.
Lower-paid jobs, like those in food service, are more likely to disappear because of AI and automation. Some already have.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Has "unusually high call volume" become the norm for customer service?

Jul 27, 2023
Service lines were swamped early in the pandemic, and many overseas call centers shut down. Companies want you to go online instead.
“Please remember there’s another human being on the other end of that phone,” said one customer service representative.
Richard Pohle/WPA Pool via Getty Images

Music from the episode

Weird Fishes Radiohead
Blue World Mac Miller
Ocean Voices Jean Thiel
Uptown Cabaret Oddisee
Ghost in the Graveyard A Sunny Day in Glasgow

The team

Nancy Farghalli Executive Producer
Maria Hollenhorst Producer II
Andie Corban Producer I
Sarah Leeson Producer I
Sean McHenry Director & Associate Producer II
Richard Cunningham Associate Producer I
Dylan Miettinen Associate Digital Producer