Since 2005 I have been a Customer with Earthlink as my Internet provider. I never had any major disappointments with their Customer Service nor with their Tech Department. But last weekend I almost became a Ex-Customer of theirs, because of the amount of frustration and disbelief that I experienced with them. If it would not have been for 2 people that knew what it means to keep a Customer happy, and resolve my problem, I would have canceled my account with them, and swallowed the cost of an early cancellation of my subscription.
So here a few pointers, that I came up with, that would keep a Customer like me from seeing red and being frustrated and becoming irrate with the Person on the other end of the Conversation.
1. If you are having a bad day, or don’t feel like doing your job or feel annoyed by me calling you, so that you transfer me to another Tech after 5 minutes unannounced, tell your Supervisor you do not want to answer any customer problems and wish to do something else. Your bad attitude in answering the phone or helping a Customer reflects badly on the rest of the Department. I called you, greeted you by your name, and asked you if your day was going good. I always try to be friendly with the other person especially in Customer relations, since I also have to deal with Customers in my line of work on daily basis, and it makes a lot of difference in which way you deal with the person at the other end. I should point out though, that at any other point that I had to call in years past, the Person at the other end is always courteous and friendly. That I must give to them. This was a isolated incident, but nontheless it sets a bad tone for the rest.
2. NEVER tell a Customer that they are incompetent or wrong in typing their Username and Password. Granted there are a few people out there that may do something wrong, but when I repeat the same letters back to you for the 20th time that I am entering and they match up with yours, I do NOT want to hear from you ” You are typing it in wrong”. That will bring my already high Blood pressure close to the boiling point.
3. LISTEN to your Customer. When I explain to you, that the previous tech and I have reset the Modem already 10 times and have taken the next 5 steps and none worked, don’t feel compelled in saying ” Let’s try this, reset the modem”. Makes me believe, that you have turned off your headset and I feel compelled to hit you with the modem and tell you to reset it yourself.
4. Get your Information straightened out. When you have a Customer that has been with you for several years, the screen that you look at should contain the correct and same Information at all times, and not something different from Service tech to Service tech.
5. Information in regards of prices, services should be the same at all times and not change again from person to person. I was told of the cost of a new modem to me was free and only shipping and handling would be my expense, and another person 10 minutes later told me I had to pay almost $80 for a new modem and shipping and handling. Needless to say my Blood pressure went through the roof at that point.
6. Why not train all Service techs to be Level 3 or your highest Level. Why have levels? Shouldn’t or wouldn’t it make more sense to have the best Service techs with ALL of the information and resolutions answering the phone at all times? I rather speak to a Service tech that can resolve my Issue right away because he has had ALL of the training, then being transfered from a Level 1 Tech to a Level 2 Tech and so on, till I finally get a Person that apparently knows what she is doing. Is it so hard to go beyond that? It certainly would save time for both the Customer and the Tech, and the Customer would not scream at your Level 1 or 2 Tech like I did, because they cannot go beyond their script and need to tranfer me to a Level 3 tech. It is not fair to them because they are not given the chance to think outside of the box, and I felt upset for allowing myself to get so angry about it that I screamed at them.
Out of 6 people, 2 made it right by me. One was a Customer Service Person that went beyond his script the next day and made sure I received the new modem for free and even gave me a discount on the shipping and handling after he saw what I went through. And the second Person that helped me to get the new modem to work after I recieved it, was a LEVEL 3 tech, which right away knew what different step needed to be taken to get the modem to work and also helped me to make sure it was working with my router properly. These are the kind of people that I want to talk to at all times, to me that is what valuable and award winning Customer Service is all about. Yes every issue may be different, from minor to hard, that take different approaches, but it would not hurt to be fully trained in all aspects of the job, so escalations like mine are avoided, because if I ever have to go through this again, I will take my Business somewhere else. Thank you.