We recently switched internet service providers. We put it off as long as we could to avoid the headache until we couldn’t take the sporadic buffering when streaming our favorite shows (have you seen Severance?). The sales experience was straightforward with a motivated agent and encouraging incentives. However, the after-sales service was a complete failure, which is too bad as it’s typically essential for retaining customers and promoting word-of-mouth referrals. First, the installation was delayed. This kicked off an automated phone process with menu options that will test anyone’s patience. Press 1 for this, then 2 for that, then say your 10-digit account number, ugh. Once I made it through to an actual person, the agent’s calm tone along with a new appointment date, and more discounts, appeased me.
The technician arrived, and he was pleasant and prepared; our services were connected and tested. Let’s go! We were all smiles standing on the front porch waving goodbye as he drove off in his heavily branded van. One hour later we had no signal. So, we got back on the phone. A different technician returned. He wasn’t pleasant, and when we explained the situation, he quickly complained about Service continually over-booking him without sufficient time to solve connectivity issues, let alone eat lunch. Needless to say, nothing was achieved other than a booked virtual call the next morning with technical support. That call was actually quite good with an agent troubleshooting the setup, and eventually getting it working. Problem solved. Well, sort of, we can’t log in to some apps. We still haven’t been able to fix that. Support told us to book an online appointment, but there are no available calendar slots. You can only make so many attempts before you start to feel like it’s Groundhog Day.
Now, a few months, and umpteen phone calls later, it’s fair to say we’ve been abandoned. Working in marketing, I’ve come to expect high-quality customer service with a seamless experience across all touchpoints. I want to be wowed and have issues resolved proactively; I don’t want to have to call for help. We want to switch back to our original provider, but the very idea has so little appeal that we’re putting the whole ordeal on hold until Severance Season 2 releases. When customer service breaks down, it can sometimes be the result of a larger systemic organizational issue. Employees who feel undervalued tend to experience decreased job satisfaction impacting morale, and ultimately performance and productivity. Businesses need to continually check in with staff, and work at strengthening customer service skills and enhancing customer experiences. Ideba’s white glove service training ensures that a company’s last impression is a good one, elevating customer service from the ordinary to the spectacular. Check it out here: https://idebamarketing.com/white-glove-customer-service-training/
What’s the worst customer service experience you’ve ever had? I’d love to hear from you. Tamarac@idebamarketing.com
Tamara Clarke – Research and Consulting Manager