I hate dealing with the phone company. Or the utility company. Don’t even get me started on the cable providers.
It’s often frustrating, prolonged, and not the least bit customer friendly.
When I had to embark on a conversation with one of the phone providers about issues with my landline billing, I called the customer service number on the bill. The person answered fairly quickly, was friendly, said they couldn’t help, and they would transfer me to someone who could. The phone rang twice, and a different employee picked up.
I asked if the first employee had explained my issue, and she said “No.” So I explained everything again from scratch. She, too, was friendly, and she, too, couldn’t help. She worked in the wireless area, and my question was about my office landline, so she had to transfer me.
The phone rang once, and it went into a queue. Thankfully it was answered in less than one minute by Jeffrey. As with the other employees, he was very friendly and greeted me professionally. I asked if the second employee had explained my issue, and Jeffrey said “No, unfortunately I didn’t receive a warm transfer.” I told him I was frustrated about having to keep repeating the same issue, and he apologized; then I explained everything again from scratch.
This is when the negative experience went to positive. Here are several things Jeffrey did:
- He was patient with my description of the issue.
- He asked questions to clarify my concern and related need.
- He offered a resolution but asked if he could put me on hold for 2 minutes to confirm with his supervisor.
- I was on hold less than 2 minutes.
- He clarified the resolution and confirmed I wanted to go that route.
- He asked if I had time to stay on the line for him to make the account changes.
- During downtime (when the system was processing), he asked about my business, my location, sports interests based on my location, etc. He shared a little about himself as well.
- He told me what e-mails I would start receiving from the company and confirmed I’d received them.
- He sent me an e-mail from his account so I’d have his contact information for follow-up.
- He told me what next steps would occur and within what timeframe.
- He was patient with my numerous questions and didn’t close until he confirmed I had all the questions answered.
- He closed by thanking me for my business and reminded me to please contact him when a certain item was shipped so he could help me with the final steps.
This was a situation that started with two friendly people but a lousy experience. Then one employee patiently, proactively, and personally turned it all around.
Find ways for your company to better communicate internally so the customer has a better experience. And learn lessons from Jeffrey to move from negativity to customer service nirvana.