Horrible Customer Service Reigns, Have You Noticed?
Horrible customer service is the norm today. It reigns! Have you experienced any similar scenarios recently like the ones below? I have all within the last month. Can you relate to these? I know things like this have happened before to me. I thought, who am I to expect better service? However, I thought, really, with all the new technologies, where is excellent customer service?
Horrible Customer Service Examples this Month
The customer service reps say, “I would never do anything to imply that we don’t want to help you. I will check it out and call you back.” They never call back. Unfortunately, this happened before with these guys. I am changing service.
Automated phone systems
I call a business and I get, “Thank you for calling. Press the number related to your problem (after six that do not apply. Press 7 for all other issues.” I do it, like an idiot and then I get another six options. I say, “Get me a real person,” I get your “answer doesn’t apply.” So, I start all over.
Poorly trained reps
The third customer service rep I talked to says, “Can you tell me about your situation?” So, for the third time I tell them, then I get transferred again. I really believe they wanted me to hang up. Why? So they did not have to solve the problem because they had no solution.
I questioned my bill with a service provider, and they said, when I adjusted my service several months ago, I agreed to another two years. And, that I will pay a penalty for early termination. I said, “I didn’t agree to that. I don’t have it in writing.” I ask for a manager. The supervisor proceeds to defend their team and say I did not understand by repeating the same things. I am thinking, who is the customer here?
I ordered a book online and all the covers came damaged. I thought, how could this happen, where is the quality control? They do eventually replace everything. But the damage is done so to speak.
Poor phone skills
I call a business and the phone rings forever., no one answers…not calling them anymore.
I fill out a form online for an estimate and I get a response three days later. I already bought another service.
The worst lately has been healthcare providers. All of them. My wife’s parents recently suffered some health issues and have gone to live in an assisted living facility. The whole health system has been a nightmare. My wife has had to “coach” healthcare providers into delivering better service so her parents could be helped…really! Few know how to do it on their own.
Horrible Customer Service: The Expectation of Hope
I came across these two statements this week, during my dismay and anger over all the poor service I experienced. It reminded me that I can do better at what I do. Also, it gave me hope others may feel the same way about abolishing horrible customer service.
For example, read this:
“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption of our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider of our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do so.” (Some say Gandhi said this, although there does not seem to be confirming evidence,)
In addition, read this.
“It is, of course, not possible to state with any practical exactitude what the customer is. But there are several common denominators to be found when we consider the customer in terms of what he is not. These things, I think, are fundamental to intelligent customer relationship and, it may be added, most of them apply well to most prospects as well.
The customer is not dependent upon us—we are dependent upon him.
The customer is not an interruption of our work—he is the purpose of it.
The customer is not a rank outsider to our business—he is a part of it.
The customer is not a statistic—he is a flesh-and-blood human being completely equipped with biases, prejudices, emotions, pulse, blood chemistry and possibly a deficiency of certain vitamins.
The customer is not someone to argue with or match wits against—he is a person who brings us his wants. If we have sufficient imagination, we will endeavor to handle them profitably to him and to ourselves.
(“Printers’ Ink: A Journal for Advertisers”, 1941. An interview with Kenneth B. Elliott, Vice President in Charge of Sales for The Studebaker Corporation.)
These are great words, but the company ended up having financial problems, was merged with others and did not make it. And that is the dilemma and opportunity.
Pulling It All Together
Finally, with the horrible customer service examples above, I did have one stellar situation, where the company and agent excelled while over-promising and over-delivering. They acted like what they did was no big deal. I like that approach, don’t you? What if…?
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