Opinion

Poor, slow and unresponsive: The new normal for customer service

English: Customer service counter inside the n...

English: Customer service counter inside the new Commonwealth Bank, Brisbane, 1953 The Commonwealth Bank is located on the corner of Edward Street and Queen Street, Brisbane. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One way you can tell if you’re dealing with a professional organization or not is the quality of customer service you receive over the phone or via email.

If all you get is a recording indicating to leave a detailed message with your name, number and someone should call you back, that is okay (provided someone does call you back).

The entire callback scenario is actually my preferred option (if it is available). I’d rather have someone call me directly about the issue.

It’s much better to have just one person who is prepared to deal with your concern at the time they call (rather than being asked to repeat your problem to several representatives, and getting passed around the table like Thanksgiving turkey).

If you’re looking for service at the time you place the call, between embarrassing hold times and the more-often-than-not ineffectiveness of the person that does eventually come on the line, you’re sorely disappointed.

If at all like me, you’ll wish you’d had the option of leaving a call back number.

Attempting to address your concerns with a customerservice@acme.wait4ever business email address, can be equally frustrating.

Dipstick@ugottabkiddingme.inperpetuity email addresses are the black holes of customer service.

Generally-speaking, unless you have a customer service representative’s work email address, general email addresses for customer service seldom get questions answered.

“I wonder why they haven’t contacted me back, Bob?”

“Well, Daryl, it’s because those things are rarely checked by human beings.”

Email customer service, like telephonic support is best served by having just one, knowledgeable, appropriate person to deal with. The trick is finding them.

This person, if they’re the real deal, will return your query with a polite, business-like reply, and in a timely fashion. If they read your email on a certain day, should they not know the answer to your question or whatever it is you are asking, they should at least acknowledge they’ve received your email and will follow up as soon as possible.

Sure, a lot of reps don’t follow up. Emails are like saliva—they are ever-flowing and unless you have dry mouth, ubiquitous, too—so ubiquitous, many continuously fall between the cracks.

The third option that is available, but not one I would recommend, is the ability to get answers via text message. Unless your needs are extremely modest, texting for customer service is encouraging a form of digital madness to enter your life and stay forever.

drinkingproblem“Bob, the text message I just received said my package just arrived but it didn’t.”

“Did you text them back, Daryl?”

“Well, there was a sentence containing a hyperlink directing me to a web page for further details, but that was about it.”

“Did you click on, or finger tap that beeotch?”

“No. I was wondering if you thought it would be an effective way to deal with my problem.”

“Your drinking problem?”

“I don’t have a drinking problem, Bob.”

“Not yet, Daryl, not yet. Just give it a few more minutes, check that, days, and you’ll be crying in your beer like a 20th century rummy.”

“Oh wait! I just got another text, Bob!”

“What is it, Daryl?”

“Someone named Amber, who sounds very nice by the way, just left a text message saying to text her back and tell her how my customer experience was with getlostshipping.com. Should I let her know I didn’t get my package?”

“You can try, Daryl, you can surely try. Just clear out a good chunk of time on your calendar so you can actually see the ‘experience’ through to fruition.”

 

 

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