DY: In Just a Few Words (#35)
It just doesn't get any better than this!
Don’t you just love customer service these days? I know I sure do.
I’ve been wanting to write a blog about customer service for some time. This is Blog #35 and I simply can’t kick the can down the road any more. I need to address this topic. And, my editor says I need to keep it light when I do. You’ll be fielding a lot of complaints if you don’t and the last thing you want to have to do is to spend time on the phone defending yourself with an unhappy reader who threatens to cancel her free subscription to your blog.
There are a lot of people who get angry when the term Customer Service is mentioned. Not me. I am never happier than when I am having a good two-way conversation with a well-trained person who has the authority to resolve my problem. Just last week, for example, my new toaster got stuck and reduced a piece of toast to the size of a quarter. Look at the upside. I’ll never put on weight eating toast the size of a mini-appetizer. There’s always something positive in every experience.
But, I digress. Back to my interaction with the toaster customer service person. I had been told by a neighbor that I might have to call 10 or 12 times before anyone would answer the phone. As it turns out, that was wrong and unfair to the toaster company. I was able to get right through after only seven calls. If you would be willing to take a brief survey at the end of this call, please stay on the line.
I really wanted to take their survey so I did what they requested - and I decided to stay on the line as long as necessary. They were making a sincere effort to learn about my experience and the least I could do was help them out. Two hours and 52 minutes later, the customer service rep came on the line. It wasn’t as bad as you might think as I was able to listen to some really good music during the delay. I apologize for the brief wait. I care about you and your toaster very much and I want to help you. I mean how great is that? That’s my kind of company and I’m going to talk to my new best friend.
I explained my problem and she put me on hold. When she reappeared just 46 minutes later, she introduced me to a second person who, as it turned out, was from a foreign country. He had a very heavy accent and was hard to understand, but I finally figured out he was from the nation of Alabama. I enjoy overseas travel so, for me, talking on the phone with a customer service rep from a country like Alabama can be a lot of fun. I care about you and your toaster very much and I want to help you. Right away he gained my trust. And, finally, here was somebody who had a good suggestion. Let me get you to one of our toaster pop-up experts here at our international toaster service center.
A mere 27 minutes later on comes a new voice. Please listen carefully as our options have changed. If you are calling because you have one of our Series 223 toasters, please press one. For all other reasons, remain on the line and one of our helpful customer service representatives will be on shortly. And sure enough - in just a short 38 additional minutes - on came someone saying, I care about you and your toaster very much. How can I help you today?
I know you are trying to help me, and I appreciate that a lot, but I really have to stop burning my toast and I am counting on you to help me reach that goal. When I push down on the timer handle it almost always gets stuck and sometimes the toast cooks for as long as 40 minutes before it finally pops up.
Sir, may I suggest that if you want to avoid this problem in the future that you may need to purchase one of our relational database management systems (commonly referred to as RDMS) for your toaster. If you do that and also replace your toaster’s hybrid app that should do the trick. A special feature comes with that which allows you to make different types of toast and put them up in the cloud for future consumption.
Just then we got disconnected. So, that’s how I spent my Tuesday. I made several new friends and renewed my faith in customer service. I hope you had a productive Tuesday, too.
Sadly, I’m afraid my toaster is toast.
And let me add that my options have changed, too. I don’t think I’ll write any more blogs about customer service.
DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.
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