I spent nearly 2 hours on a conference call with my Phone.com customer and a nameless phone provider’s customer support department yesterday afternoon.
The entire call felt similar to the reaction to the sound created by nails dragging on a chalk board.
Was the issue solved at the end of this call? Not at all.
My customer is transferring two business numbers to us from the other phone provider to us. We have a date set for a couple weeks out for this to happen. However, the other provider released the numbers early and cancelled the account without authorization, resulting in the customer’s main business lines being out of service.
So, I jump on the conference call, hoping to talk to someone about this issue. Apparently, the department we need doesn’t have phones. My customer and I then became bean bags, kicked around from department to department, each representative telling us they cannot provide much information but “so and so department” can.
We then were transferred to a “supervisor” line.
We waited almost 20 minutes in the “supervisor” queue. At least there was a soundtrack of epic hold music on high volume to keep us occupied.
Finally when the “supervisor” answered, we were talked over when explaining the situation and then told again, that he doesn’t have access to the information we need and must create a ticket.
We cannot have a copy of the ticket though. We also cannot talk to the department that we need. And, the “supervisor” isn’t even empowered to have the information necessary to solve our problem and must create a ticket. That has a 24-48 hour turn around for “urgent” issues. He reminded us they are a large company and they must follow the process.
While yes, I was furious and my customer was furious, I also left the call with this thought:
How sad it is that this company cannot empower it’s agents to handle issues. They must pass the issues on like hot potatoes, whether they want to or not.
I want to know:
- Is being a large company an excuse for bad customer service?
- Is being a large company an excuse for not empowering your agents?
Think about large companies that do it right. I’m sure you have your favorites. My top two are:
The age old saying of, “Size doesn’t matter” definitely applies here (ok, get your mind out of the gutter…).
This post isn’t about HOW to do it right–it’s about the need for these companies to see the value and importance in customer service that actually serves your customer.
So–why do large companies succeed in $$ but fail in #CustServ?
- Employees Not Valued: low pay, bad work environment/culture, not empowered
- Lack Of Leadership: The leaders are unhappy to!
- Strict Policy: No empowerment to go outside the box for the customer
- Unclear Mission Or Values: If the focus is on $$ rather than the customer, then that’s what will guide every decision.
There are so many more that I’m missing (share your thoughts, please) and just hope that one day, things will change for large companies and we won’t have to waste time with bad service ever again!
I dream big!