I’m generally frustrated with customer service from most phone, Internet, and cable providers, and I’m not the only one. Providing customer service as a corporate giant is tough. Millions of customers, thousands of employees interacting with those customers. It’s an ultra complicated process managing all of the systems, processes, and people involved. But complexity is not an excuse.
I was sitting at my desk today when my cell phone rang. The caller ID listed a Minnesota number I didn’t recognize, but I picked it up anyway. The woman on the other end was hysterical.
Between sobs, I’m able to figure out that:
- I have no idea who is calling me.
- She’s having some MAJOR T-Mobile customer service problems.
All of her data? Gone. Apps? Gone. Contacts? Gone. Long story short: Everything gone. The response from the T-Mobile customer service rep? I don’t care. We can’t do anything about it. Call the phone manufacturer.
Customer service lessons:
1. Customer Service is About Information: Explain Issues, Situations, Solutions.
Don’t tell your customer to factory reset their phone and say that all of their data will be ok. It won’t.
Most people don’t backup their phones so factory reset might as well be called the nuclear bomb to their data. Customer service is explaining problems, and giving customers options for solutions. Don’t just tell them something they want to hear. Don’t force the customer to take action they aren’t sure they want to take.
2. Customer service is caring. From beginning to end.
It’s been said that great customer service is having the attitude that “it’s not my fault, but it is my problem”. One of the first things I discuss when training new customer service team members is to remember that customer service or customer support is a rescue service. If everything goes according to plan in your organization, your customers should generally be able to go from start to finish without having talk to anyone.
Everything should be seamless, straightforward, and simple. Information, options, services, solutions, all at the customer’s fingertips.
This situation isn’t a one-time thing. You don’t have to go far on the Internet to see the customers are frustrated with T-Mobile customer service. On Amplicate’s site alone, there are 20 T-Mobile complaints per page x 4609 pages. This totals roughly 92,000 T-mobile customer service complaints.
Preaching great customer service today often feels like trying to hold back a tidal wave. Customer service is hard. But the effort still has to be made to make the customer experience and real customer service the focal point of customer service teams.
As a customer service team, you hope your systems perform perfectly so that the customer doesn’t have to contact you, but if something in the process breaks down, it should be the only priority of customer service to resolve the problem so that the customer is satisfied with the situation.
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