Are You Listening?

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I arrived a few minutes early for a meeting with an Executive level officer of a company. Since the meeting was more of a personal-social interaction, I was called in while he was on phone with the voice contact center of his Cellular service provider. The story I heard while being there goes as follows.

He had changed his phone a month back and requested for activation of blackberry services for his phone. The request was logged, and within a few hours he got a call from the tech support helpdesk to help him with configuring his handset for the services. During the conversation it was discovered that blackberry services could not be handled on this handset as the OS was not compatible and hence the service would not be availed.

Now on the next billing cycle, he received his invoice with charges for blackberry services. This is the issue he was trying to settle with the contact center. The conversation lasted for over 20 minutes, during which the agent was not convinced that the charges were not tenable as an activation process had been triggered a month back. After 20 minutes the call was taken over by the floor supervisor who within 30 seconds understood the problem, and agreed to reverse the charges.

But by then the damage had been done. After the call our discussion veered around the kind of hassle he would have to go through if he changes his service provider and hence would get a new number.

Reflecting on this episode a few questions cross my mind.

1) Would the contact center have perceived and recorded that this was not a pleasant experience for the caller?
2) Are contact center experiences not perceived as pleasant escalated to relevant departments like retention/churn management.
3) The episode does point to work flow / information flow failure. Would this be escalated back to the process officers who can carry out the necessary amendments to avoid a recurrence?
4) Am I writing this because I was inconvenienced by the 20 min wait while this person was on phone with the contact center.

Rajeev Gambhir

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