Another customer service story today – kind of my first blogging rant. (Is that a blant?) A very different experience from the weekend. Not necessarily a bad one, just one that could definitely have been improved upon with a little thought and training. Am not going to name and shame but it was one of the telcos…
Key to this story is the fact that I started a new work project today. Things are starting to get busy again so I don’t have much time to waste on things with the move date looming as well.
Having spent a reasonable amount of time hanging on the phone waiting for someone to speak to me, I had to hang up and go off to run other errands. So far, not so good. As I finished up the errands I dropped into the telco store to see if it would be quicker there. A young chap came across, asked me my name and what I wanted to speak to someone about (cancel two of the services and keep the third). I was given a waiting time and dutifully stood around playing a game on my phone to pass the time. I could have done something more creative and productive I suppose, but reading pages of documents on a small screen isn’t really my thing.
An assistant came to see me after about 15 mins – which incidentally, was significantly less time than I had spent hanging on the phone earlier. I explained what I wanted doing (still wanted to cancel two of the services and keep the third) and she very quickly had everything ready to sort out. After asking for picture ID (which I didn’t have on me) and then looking at almost every card I had in my wallet, she decided that I was actually who I said I was. I seem to have an honest face when dealing with customer service people. (When I am sitting on a bus it is a totally different story, however. In that case the seat next to me could be the last seat left on the planet and people would still rather stand. I have been told that my “resting face” is a bit fierce looking. I just think I am concentrating on other things, like the book I am reading or the view).
Anyway, back to the story. All was going well and the buttons were all just about to be clicked:
Telco: “So all ready to go. Will just cancel everything now and all done”
Me: “Well, when you say cancel now…?”
Telco: “Yes, everything will be cancelled immediately”
Me: “But I need my internet connection until 31st Jan”
Telco: “Ah! We can’t pre-schedule that. We can pre-schedule everything else, but not broadband”
Telco: “Just drop in on the day you are moving and we can cancel it for you that day”
All of this was done so achingly pleasantly that I really had to resist the urge to scream and point out that if I had been told that when I spoke to the guy at the beginning, I wouldn’t have wasted 25 minutes of my time waiting and then going through the whole process for something that could not be done. Not to mention that the last thing I suspect that anyone moving needs on the day is to have to cheerily drop into a telco store to cancel services, or spend an hour with a phone to their ear waiting to get through to a customer service person who is going to cut them off!
I actually had nothing against how the people had handled things but the lack of co-ordination with information across the whole process really annoyed me. I realise that businesses have processes, but a little training goes a long way. The first person you speak to should be able to inform you of processes that cannot be completed, or at least know enough about something for it to raise a flag and have them go and check. It would make people a lot happier if they didn’t have to wait around only to find out that it was a waste of their time and they have to do it all again.
Small things, but they make a huge amount of difference and keep customers happy.