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Customer Service: The Bad Apples

Customer Service: The Bad Apples

Is it me, or do you ever feel like the bigger the size of a company the worse their customer service? I say this because almost all my customer service experiences dealing with these giant corporations have been nothing short of a nightmare. Let me explain.

The Threat: I had DirecTV as our satellite provider for 7 years. When Verizon introduced FIOS in our neighborhood I decided to upgrade to the newer - and dare I say better - technology. To make a long story short, when I decided to cancel my service with DirecTV, they told me that I had to return the DVR back because it was leased. I refused. We went back-and-forth for a few months. That’s when they decided to threaten me with the scary words any red-blooded American would cringe at: the collection agency. I didn’t have a choice. I threw in the towel. I mailed the DVR back to them. Oh, did I mention that I had a receipt to prove that I had purchased the DVR in question from a DirecTV approved vendor.

The Phone Maze: So, as I stated above, we have Verizon for all our communication, web and entertainment needs. Truth be told, the FIOS programming is fantastic – Great digital TV, Lightning fast Internet, Crystal-clear digital land line. Oh my, sorry for getting side-tracked with my love-fest about Verizon’s products. But god-forbid something goes wrong with the services I mentioned above and you’ll find out in a hurry how bad their customer service is. For any billing, repair, or programming questions I set aside 45 minutes before I call their customer service number.

On a good day, by the time I go through all the automated prompts and talk to an actual representative it takes me a good 15 minutes to a half-hour. You don’t want to know what happens on a bad day. Even when you get to speak to a person and proceed to ask your question, the first statement out their mouth is that “their computers are running too-slow”, or in the worst case that they “need to reboot them.”  Great! More time to twiddle my thumbs. And by the time I can get any decent resolution to my problem usually 45 minutes to an hour goes by.

By the way, you might agree with me when I say that there seems to be a complete lack of communication between the various departments at these corporations. Every time I have a billing question they direct me to the programming department. And since the people in this department maintain poor phone logs, I end up regurgitating my story multiple times. When they finally locate the problem, they wash their hands away by saying “we made the adjustments in our systems, so you need to go back to the billing department.” It’s like a vicious cycle, and you feel like you are stuck in an infinite loop.

The Waiting Game: With the interest rates at an all-time low I decided to re-finance our home. So I went to my bank (Bank of America) and told the branch manager about my intentions. She gave me the contact information of their “Mortgage Loan Officer”. After the 2008 market meltdown and the shenanigans of BOA, I guess they took one on the chin. So like any good corporate citizen they decided to downsize their workforce to improve their balance sheet. The result: multiple branches have to share the “Loan Officer”. So it took the loan officer – and I’m not making this up – four weeks to contact me. Needless to say, the ship had sailed. And the interest rates went up. And I was left with a sour taste in my mouth.

For businesses, its common sense to provide good customer service, because the cost of acquiring a new customer is five times that of retaining an existing customer. And yet, time and again, common sense seems to be in short supply at these companies.

We at housspros.com take pride in our customer service. In addition to being the right thing to do, we as a small company, strongly feel that hanging our hat on great customer service is by far the only way we can differentiate ourselves from the other big players in our space. From the examples provided in this post, it is clear that the big corporations have become the modern day dinosaurs because instead of being proactive in providing great service they always seem to be in a reactive mode trying to put out fires of bad customer experiences.

Additionally, their actions or inactions, with regard to customer service displays a pattern of arrogance that leads their customers to feel like they are just a number, whose business has been taken for granted. And that if the unhappy customer leaves, that it is merely a collateral damage of serving so many of them. We at housspros.com value each and every customer as if they are our only customer, and immerse ourselves in earning their business every single day.

Image Source: hyken.com



Last Updated: 2017-10-26 19:18:46

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