I don’t know about you but I am old fashioned when it comes to customer service. I like to sit in front of someone to discuss my issues, possibly small chat with them, resolve the issue and then be on my way. I usually never have an issue with dealing with someone face to face. I thoroughly enjoy the interaction and so do my kids. They get to meet and interact with new people, get treats on occasion and get tons of smiles and laughs from everyone. Plus, it gets us out of the house!
Phone based customer service, I have a love/hate relationship. Most times I have enjoyed the conversation while my problem is being taken care of. Then there are the times where I wished that there was a way for me to go in person. I say this because most of the time the person that I am dealing with either a) has had a bad day and will escalate a call when there is no need, b) has no experience to resolve the matter, c) will tell you the wrong information or d) doesn’t have a good command of the English language to understand what you need. When I am on the phone, I will be as cheerful as possible…even in the morning (I am NOT a morning person). You have no idea what kind of day that person has had and sounding as calm and pleasant as possible is the best way to combat any nastiness from the person that you are speaking to. That goes for when you have been wronged and looking for compensation. It doesn’t work all the time but I have had more pleasant calls this way. Another thing that I have never been fond of is the amount of menu options that I have to choose from in order to get to where I need to be. Even after all of that, I still get it wrong from time to time. 😛
Then there is live chat. (Sigh) I am not a fan of chatting unless it is with one of my friends and they are not able to call for whatever reason. I chatted online with my husband when he was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan if the phones were too busy. When it comes to getting something resolved, like when my game that I downloaded was crashing every time I played it or trying to get HD to work again, it can be a hassle. I will PURPOSEFULLY outline the details of the situation and any troubleshooting that I have done (I tend to research everything and troubleshoot it according to their directions before calling) so that there wouldn’t be time wasted unnecessary questions. Can you guess what happens each and every time? Heh heh. I end up having to repeat myself even though what I have done is plain as the words in this blog. Do I get frustrated? Yes. But, there is a level of detachment that occurs when chatting online so it is not as bad. This is my least favorite way of communicating any issues.
My greatest pet peeve is dealing with someone who doesn’t speak English that well. I know that most companies outsource their customer service to other countries but come on! If you are dealing with Americans, speak American English…even British English is acceptable. That’s all I have to say for that.
Then there is the flip-side…the “insider” information that I have gotten over the years. My old nanny used to work for a call center for one of the major cell phone company. She was the person who took call escalations when the customer service could not resolve the issue. The worst time of the month for her is when a phone launches, whether it is a upgrade or a new phone all together, she has to deal with snakes. I mean grown adults cussing her out, calling her every name in the book just so they can get a new phone when it is not possible for them to do it. She would come home looking defeated during these times and all she wanted to do was take the kids and get her “smooches and lovings”, as she would call it, to help cheer her up. There were times, she’s told me that she would place a caller on hold just to cry. But not once would she ever say a cross word or act mean. She has told people that she couldn’t do something (even though she could) because of the way she has been treated. On the funnier side, she has had people cry saying they need a new smart phone but they can’t get one due to whatever reason. She told me once a gentleman had called and ended up crying on the phone because he couldn’t get the upgrade he wanted. I’m sorry, that is funny! ‘The phone’s so good, make a grown man cry…’ Heh heh heh. There are tons of stories that I could tell but it all boils down to this:
Being mean to customer service reps, will not get you anywhere, no matter what the situation is. You could have a simple issue as changing your data plan, getting internet, changing your TV provider or need a refund or compensation for the company wrong doing or mistake. Be polite.
I will tell you, I have gotten further with customer service…even getting discounts or free stuff just for being personable. They are there to help you. If you do have a bad call, make sure you document everything. That way when you call back and get a new person, you can tell them what happened and who you were talking to. That way it is documented in their system and in their personnel file. Who knows, you could get that person transferred to a new department, get retaining or what have you. The bottom line is there is one less mean person answering phones.
If you have any wild or zany stories about your interaction with customer service, please share!
Y’all have a good day, ya hear?