A Story Of Poor Customer Service And How To Fix It

  • cxoverseer
  • Category Business, Travel

https://www.forbes.com/sites/adrianswinscoe/2013/11/01/a-common-problem-a-story-of-poor-customer-service-and-how-to-fix-it/#950ccfa620e8

by Adrian Swinsco

A few months ago the Consumerist.com website posted a story: To Resolve Some Customer Service Problems, Just Call Back. In the story they advocate that if you are having problems getting the service you want, just call back.

This implies that if you want good service then you should be persistent and go looking for it. Now, this may be a reliable strategy, as a customer, and not unreasonable. I must admit I’ve also found myself calling customer services again and again as I’ve struggled to navigate a particularly cumbersome IVR system or get the answer that I was looking for.

But, is it right that we have to do this?

My wife faced a similar problem, the other day, when she found herself locked out of her bank account. She had done nothing wrong but had to call the bank’s call centre a number of times to try and get it fixed.

Here’s what happened:

  • She noticed the problem;
  • She called the call centre and spoke to someone, went through all of the security protocols and then the problem, supposedly, got fixed by the agent that she spoke to;
  • After waiting for systems to refresh etc, she tried to access her account;
  • The problem persisted;
  • She called back, spoke to a different person, went through the same security procedure, received an apology for any inconvenience and then the agent claimed to have ‘fixed’ the problem;
  • Again, after waiting for systems to refresh etc, she tried to access her account;
  • The problem persisted;
  • By this time my wife was getting very frustrated and quite irate;
  • She then called back again and spoke to another person. This time, the agent had a look around her account settings and their systems and swiftly located the ‘problem’. The agent again apologised for any inconvenience and then stated that they had now fixed the problem;
  • Again, after waiting for systems to refresh etc, my wife tried to access her account.
  • Success! And, a sigh of relief.

Thinking about my wife’s experience caused me to think of a number of questions:

  • Is this good customer service?
  • What’s the effect on the customer experience when something like this happens?
  • How is that some customer service agents can fix things in an instant and others need to be called back again and again to get things fixed?
  • Are they having a bad day?
  • Are they taking exception to the way they are talked to both by customers and their peers/bosses?
  • Is their training sub-par?