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Why do companies have to make it so difficult for their customers?

Al White, of Zen of Customer Service, recently shared an experience he had which illustrates companies with poor customer service vision.

Outsource Call Center Customer Service

I had ordered two “free” satellite radios as promotions for switching from one receiver to another. When the $73 charge showed up on my bill I thought, “yup, too good to be true — I was only allowed to have one free one and now they are charging me for the second one.”

I was upset, having been told two were free and wasn’t going to back down. But guess what? I called and the rep could not see what the charge was for. He figured it was “probably additional shipping charges” (for $73? What, were they going to hand deliver the radio?).

At that point, I talked to the supervisor who also had trouble finding what the charge was for and put through a request for a refund. It was a very frustrating, and lengthy, phone interaction for all of us.

I often wonder what kind of sweat shop, slave-labor like conditions that people in customer service are working in that creates circumstances like this. Why do companies have to make it so difficult for their customers? It’s as if they REALLY don’t want you to be their customer.

Customer Service Teams Need to Do the Right Thing!

This situation points out the fact that customer service people need to have the freedom to do the right thing. And then they need to go out there and do it. In this case, everyone failed. The company failed, the employee failed, and the customer service supervisor failed. Fail, fail, fail.

Fixing Bad Customer Service Experiences is Easy!

I love Customer Service!

Here’s how Al’s story should have gone:

I had ordered two “free” radios as promotions for switching from one receiver to another. When the $73 charge showed up on my bill I thought, “yup, too good to be true — I was only allowed to have one free one and now they are charging me for the second one.”

I was upset, having been told two were free and wasn’t going to back down. But guess what? I called and the rep could not see what the charge was for.

I called the company’s service service and told them about the charge. The first person I talked to said “I can’t believe that! That’s not right. Let me refund it for your right now.

Also, Al, I’m really sorry that you had to take time out from your busy day to call in and get this straightened out. It shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Can I give you a couple of months of service for free?

The end. Problem solved.

  • Agree with the customer; it diffuses the upset customer.
  • Whatever was done wrong, fix it.
  • Acknowledge your customer’s hassle.
  • Offer something to make up for it.
  • After finishing with the customer, contact the manager and let them know about the issue. There will probably be other people who may encounter this same situation and you’d hate to be creating more angry customers.