23 Jan Smells Like Bad Service
Customer service that stinks leaves a lasting impression.
The Automated Menu Goes Round and Round
Repetition may have been fun when you were three. “Play the song again, Dad!” As an adult trying to solve a problem it is maddening.
Automated menus that never address an issue and never lead to an agent feel like a black hole absorbing energy and time. Some menus hide agent access so deeply it’s clear they don’t want you to reach one. The service is so bad that websites and forums exist where people share how they successfully reached an agent so others can too. These work at least until the company changes their menus.
It’s no surprise customers dislike IVRs (interactive voice response). A survey of over 1300 people chosen to represent the US customer market revealed:
“…75 percent “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that IVRs forced them to listen to irrelevant options. Similar percentages thought IVRs present choices that lead nowhere and so achieve nothing, that IVRs have too many menus, and that the prompts used in IVRs are too long.”
Could you Please Hold…for Infinity?
Hold? The question is how long? Is it so long the customer could have driven to the brick and mortar store, addressed their issue in person, and driven back?
Online feeds are filled with customer service stories like putting customers on hold not to handle their issue, but to finish a personal phone call or just to mess with them.
Or they ask to put the customer on hold but mute them instead and listen to them. Creepy.
These impact average handle time and customer effort metrics which in turn affect customer retention.
You want a fierce linebacker, not a fierce customer service agent. Some agents take the company mandate of retaining customers too far.
Talking over customers, aggressively upselling or trying hardcore manipulation that ignores customer’ requests doesn’t build loyalty.
Service agents execute company policy and may be pressured to try to shift a cancellation to retention or to upsell. This is good for both customer and company if executed well and solving the customer issue. However, a bad customer service encounter going viral on social media leaves your company issuing a public apology as in this Comcast incident.
I Don’t Care What You Think…
Apathy is not good for business. When an agent gives a customer partial or incorrect information that forces the customer to call back and start all over again.
This also pushes an even angrier customer onto a different agent. Nice. Then there are agents passive aggressively ending calls before resolution is achieved.
Bad customer service may be great fodder for comedy, but you don’t want your company to be the butt of the joke.