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Why Customer Service is bad?

By Chris V. Thangham     Feb 21, 2007 in Business
Why Customer Service is bad? and how to improve it.
Customer service is broken. Not just because of bad management, though we have plenty of that to go around. Customer service is broken for three reasons:
1. The Internet has taught us to demand everything immediately (and perfect). In Internet everything is lightning fast and the results are immediate, so we expect everything done faster and good results. But in reality we don't get that, if we call a cable company or a phone company, they make you wait longer over a number of channels before you get to talk to the main person to solve your problems. Plus we expect to talk the manager for every issue, it is impossible with the volume of calls a company receives.
2. The rapid proliferation of choice has taught us to demand that everything should be cheap. We want everything cheap but expect superior customer service, but to get that later they need to pay more, the costs are high for the company.
3. The availability of blogs and other public histories means that it is harder than ever to treat different customers differently.
If there is a bad customer service, it quickly appears in blogs and networks and there is instant attack on that company. So, to compensate they add an extra layer of customer service, only problem they add it in the lowest layer, where they are inadequately trained, and also have a high turnover, so we get bad service.
No wonder customer service is so bad. Well, one path is to yell louder at the companies, who will yell louder at their staffs. Another path is to blow it up and start over.
Seth Godin gives a tremendous recommendation for this customer service problem. He says the company can solve this problem easily. They need to have a goodfront line customer service people who will listen to the customer with full attention, note down all their problems. Once this is done, tell the customer that the company will respond within 24 hours. The front line customer service passes this problems to the superior who try to solve it as soon as possible and call the customer back within 24 hours. This strategy is better than making the customer wait on the phone and pass the customer like a baton from one layer to another and still can't solve the problem, which will make the customer frustrated.
It happens to me when I call Earthlink they do that constantly make me wait an hour or two before I can get a solution, even that thing doesn't work have to call them again. But I called DirecTV, they did what Seth did, they try to solve for the first 10 minutes, when it didn't they said they will respond within a day, and I was happy.
So, it is better to give an honest answer and make the customers wait a day or two than make them wait over the phone a long time and don't gave them correct answers.
Do you find Customer Service the same? Good or Bad?
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