Consistency is Key To Great Customer Service

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Recently a reader shared an experience with their Internet Service Provider (ISP) when they changed their internet plan to facilitate a faster download speed with a new high speed plan.

Based on the changes discussed, the CSR advised that the cost would remain the same unless they exceeded 50 GB per month download allowance.

This was more than ample as the previous plan was 12 GB and they didn’t even use all of that capacity. So they authorized the change and things happened as expected – until the next bill arrived.

The bill indicated an additional $10 per month for the new plan despite assurances from the CSR there was no extra cost.

Upon calling the ISP to inquire about the discrepancy, they were advised that they had been misinformed.

Not satisfied, they asked to speak to a supervisor. However the first CSR simply transferred them to a second CSR — where they had to explain the problem all over again. And was told no again.

The second CSR finally put them through to a supervisor who also confirmed that they had been misinformed and the supervisor couldn’t do anything about the situation.

When asked if they could re-instate the old plan, they were advised that it was impossible because the old plan no longer existed. The attitude was basically “tough luck”.

In frustration, they decided to contact the complaints department and, after a few days, received a call back from a supervisor who seemed to be genuinely interested in fixing this problem. They were able to change the plan back to the original plan at the original cost. Further, they apologized for the inconvenience.

My Perspective: Why do unhappy customers have to contact a special department to get things done that just make good sense?

Too many call centres have different departments that have different authority to address customer issues. Why do companies continue to assume the front line people don’t have the capability for making good business decisions?

They seem to be playing a math game about how many customers they will lose against how many will simply tolerate bad service and stay — rather than looking for a way to give all customers a good reason to stay.

If one supervisor was so easily able to solve this problem, why couldn’t the original supervisor?

There is an issue with training here — but the bigger issue is trust. Trust that employees can and will make good business decisions based on getting good training and well defined guidelines.

Everyone within the company should receive the same training so customers can be confident they will get the same help, no matter who they speak to.

Have you had any experiences like this? Where you call a call centre, are you given the run around because people don’t seem to know what they’re doing? Or maybe they just don’t care?

Make sure that when people call your place of business, that all employees are empowered to make things right — or can quickly get the approval from someone who can.

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