In the business of training and observing customer service professionals, it is not uncommon to find myself shaking my head a lot. Sometimes feeling like a kid again, riding an old rickety roller coaster that violently shakes my head side to side. Other times I find myself holding back applause when I see or hear a representative do an exceptional job. Sadly the former outweighs the latter far too often. I do make a point to recognize businesses that are going above and beyond to ensure their clients receive consistent and rewarding service each time they interact. Today the company I’d like to recognize is:
I also work with a friend helping to maintain and manage a couple rental properties, a few weeks ago we got a call letting us know the microwave had stopped heating. We were pretty disappointed since this microwave is only a year and a half old; as luck would have it, the microwave was no longer within the manufacturer warranty period. Only left with a few options, we decided to call Whirlpool and schedule a service technician to determine the cause of the unit breaking. After explaining the issue to Caleb H., he not only got a technician scheduled the following day but also waived the repair fees for this particular call. He said he too felt the microwave should not have stopped working so soon. This is customer service. I only had to explain the situation once, I didn’t get transferred a hundred times, I wasn’t told I was out of luck because my item was out of warranty, I didn’t even have to ask him if they would reduce or comp any repair cost. Caleb H. simply offered this solution because Whirlpool wanted to stand behind their product and correct the wrong their customer was feeling. I can say this with some certainty, any ill feelings I had towards Whirlpool when this microwave broke, I have no longer and I will purchase their products again.
Sadly, there are other companies that could do so much better and their errors are silly and easily avoided.
I use Wells Fargo for my business needs and for the most part they do a decent job. It’s not hard to get a local banker on the phone and someone is always waiting just inside the door to ask what they can assist you with during your visit. The thing that marks them as “Bad” on this post is follow through. Several times I have asked for information on a new account, a change needed, or a small error. Many times the answer to my question is simple and I am happily on my way; however, I have an issue when I am told by a banker “I need to call the main office to check and I will get back to you within the hour” and it doesn’t happen. I am under no illusion that everyone means within one hour exactly my answer will be provided or my problem resolved. I do expect if an answer/resolution can’t be provided that day, a courtesy call with an update is in order. Believe it or not, most customers or clients are actually very reasonable people. They get annoyed when service is not meeting expectations or perceived promises are not being kept. Whether you think so or not stating, “I will get back to you within an hour” is a promise. You may be thinking, “well it’s not that important” or “They said they weren’t in a hurry so it’s fine”. No it’s not fine. You are not keeping your word, and that doesn’t only make you look bad, it reflects poorly on your company. A tip for these situations: If you make a promise to be in touch with a client and the answer/solution is not yet ready, contact them anyway. Apologize for the inconvenience as well as taking the extra time. Do not place blame, your client doesn’t care why it is taking longer or what part of the process is holding the answer/solution up. Finally, give your client a new and reasonable expectation on when their issue or question will be resolved. Wells Fargo has some work to do but it’s not impossible to fix these little faux pas.
Finally, there are major in customer service that should never occur and quite frankly, are inexcusable. I wouldn’t blame you if you decided not to do business with this industry giant.
I recently switched my services to Comcast after several frustrating years as a FIOS customer. I learned quickly that all I did was jump from the frying pan into the fire. I am not going to waste too much time explaining what was done wrong here, we have all heard the horror stories of Comcast survivors, but I simply can’t seem to let the disappointment I feel towards Comcast go. A sales representative approached my family member one afternoon and pitched his heart out, convincing her that it might be worth while to listen to the offers he had available. We were trepidatious about moving forward due to poor experiences in the past but were convinced on the grounds of better customer service and a local representative at our finger tips for any problems we experienced. To make a long story reasonable, we experienced subpar signal for both cable and internet. When we finally found an appointment that worked for our schedule the technician quickly told us our problem was largely due to the installer not using the correct connections and trying to save time by reusing the incompatible, FIOS, connections. Did I mention this was an install that we paid for?! I was livid. I immediately texted our sales representative to let him know what was causing our issue and how angry I was that the installer not only did a half-ass (Sorry) job, but that we were paying for better service and faster internet for several months, services we weren’t technically receiving due to this issue.
I was amazed in the worst possible way. Our representative has “Read Receipts” enabled on his phone so I could see he was opening my messages and willfully choosing not to reply. I decided to give this individual the benefit of the doubt, assuming he may have been on vacation or some type of time off. I sent the message again, the same message, the following Monday.
I gave our representative an entire week to call to discuss why I was angry and how we could solve the issue amicably. When he didn’t call over a week later I texted again but this time I asked for his supervisors name and number.
He called me seconds later and I ignored the call. I texted him again and stated that I had no interest in working with him further and I would be forwarding my complaint to his boss. I explained that I had given him ample opportunity to correct the problem and to even reply to a message in which a customer felt angry and abused. He did nothing. The moral of the story is, this is not simply a single error. This is poor training and poor skill. Sales and customer service walk hand in hand but in many cases businesses only train their team sales skills and leave out the all too important customer service training. If our representative had quickly returned my message, apologized for the issue, and provided a logical solution to move forward, we would be pleased. Instead we are constantly looking for the right time to take our business elsewhere.
The take away from this very long blog post is customer service is essential. The littlest thing done in the best way can make the biggest impact. Similarly, the littlest things being ignored, will also make the biggest impact but in the worst possible way.
Thanks for reading! Seeya next time.