Dear Customer Service Department of Most Businesses,
It’s time for a #realtalk. There are many things to love about your company, but your customer service is not one of them. I would say “it’s not you, it’s me,” but, it’s how you treat me. Let’s just say that your social skills could use some work.
Kidding aside, customer service is no joke when it comes to a company’s financial health. A recent study found the quality of a business’s customer service “is significantly associated with its contemporary and future financial performance” as well as higher profitability. In other words, happy customers equal big money. Many companies are wising up and making customer service a priority as opposed to an afterthought. However, the latest service disaster is never far away.
Someone needs to tell you about your company’s bad habits. Because, let’s face it, customer service has room to improve in the U.S.
I’m getting friendly with your robots and automated messages. Once upon a time, I thought that I might be able to speak to someone from your company. Like, an actual person. But, that time was many “press one for services,” “please holds,” and “enter your account info’s” ago. I’m dialing and hanging up on your robot answering service more than I ever did to an ex.
I’m on hold. I’m still on hold. I will be on hold for the foreseeable future. I gear up to call your company by finding a comfy spot on the couch, a plate of food, maybe a pile of knitting just in case…because it’s going to take a while. Getting through to someone who can help me is like finishing a marathon. A marathon which involves terrible elevator music and plenty of false hope. Sure, you may say that “my call is very important to you,” but actions speak louder than words.
It takes you three days to respond to emails. I’ve heard of waiting to call after a first date, but a company playing coy? Let’s give up the games and cut to the chase, especially if it’s a pressing issue or one that could be easily fixed. Playing the waiting game is no fun. Anyway, if I emailed you, it’s probably because I already tried calling/chatting/sending carrier a pigeon.
Your chat is always offline. You have a business to run and probably many important things to do, but it seems like you’re never there for me when I need you. “Live chat” isn’t much help when it’s never “live.” Believe me, I wish that problems only occurred between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., too.
Your reps are based in another country. You probably thought that I didn’t notice. When you transfer me to a foreign call center, it shows me that I’m just not worth your time. Outsourcing may seem like the way to save a couple of coins, but you’re cutting in on customer satisfaction. Haven’t you heard that customer service is the new marketing?
I keep getting shuffled from one person to the next. Look, I’m a person, not a ping pong ball. It’s not that I don’t love meeting every representative you have. However, instead of five people handing a five-step problem, it would be great if one person could take care of it. I don’t know if your employees are under-trained or have a serious lack of confidence, but there must be a way to cut this process way down.
Your reps sound like they hate their job. I get it–listening to people complain all day is not a piece of cake. But when I feel like I’ve ruined a rep’s day with my call or chat, it makes me not want to pick up the phone. Or communicate with your company ever again. If your reps are not positive and enthusiastic about your product or service, I’m not going to be either. Bring customer service to center stage by letting the job satisfaction of your employees do the talking.
I know what you’re thinking: sure, you’re guilty of some of these faux pas, but customer service has to fall by the wayside because of whatever today’s excuse is that you may have. Customer service–a vital PART of the customer experience–is where to start. Examine, or RE-examine how you treat me and we may get back together soon.
Sincerely yours, Jeff