Thursday, May 22, 2008

Customer service

I just had one excellent customer service interaction with Telus, and a series of terrible experiences with health insurance companies. Let us examine their differences:

good experience:
  • listened to "on hold" music for < 60 seconds
  • customer service guy was friendly, compassionate, understanding
  • problem fixed by first person I talked to
  • money refunded!
  • future similar problems prevented by permanent changes to my account
bad experience:
  • listened to interminable "on hold" music
  • customer service guy 1 was confused, bounced me to someone else
  • customer service guy 2 was more confused, esp. since I had no idea who he was or why "I" had called him
  • problem still not fixed, or even isolated
  • money not refunded, though it should be!
  • end result: telling me to call someone outside the company, then "call back when you have figured it out"

I have worked in customer service, and I know how difficult some customers can be. I am not one of those, however; I am friendly, understanding, sympathetic to the customer service agent's powerless plight. I also use the should-be-patented M. approach to customer service, wherein we (not me vs. him) are working together to understand, and eventually fix, the problem. My fallback strategy is to weep inconsolably until the problem is fixed, but I have a feeling that that would not work as well on the phone as it has (demonstrably!) in person.

So for now, I have left several very clear messages in voicemail boxes across Canada, and I am giving them a day to respond before I increase my telephonically-transmitted vexation.

This post's theme word: babbitt, "a self-satisfied narrow-minded person who conforms to conventional ideals of business and material success."

1 comment:

Caset said...

i ended up crying on the phone to a number of financial aid officers at one point senior year. it did not help and was actually rather embarrassing. i would not suggest it.