telecommunications | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

Handle Interruptions Heroically - 6/18/24


In the middle of a project, Jimbo, the customer service team member, had to stop what he was doing because he received an e-mail from a customer complaining about their experience at a recent event. Later that day, Jimbo was asked by his boss to put everything on hold for Read more

From Employees to Teammates: The Shift - 6/11/24


Be a great teammate. Be a good team player. We’re all part of the team. We’re no longer employees, we’re team members! The phrase “Team” is used in describing co-workers so much more than it was used years ago.  Then, we would be talking about employees, talking about staff, talking Read more

Nurture New Relationships - 6/4/24


Freddie was a new business owner in town.  He was launching a franchise, had acquired some funding from a local bank, and was in search of staff who cared about customer service. All the while, he was in the process of renovating a storefront for his business, so he was Read more

There’s Positivity in Patience - 5/28/24


The employee at the financial services firm was working with a new client on a relatively simple loan.  The documentation was about as clear as it could get to the employee, but the customer had lots of questions.  The employee calmly, clearly, and specifically answered each question.  The meeting Read more

The Goal – A Great Experience - 5/21/24


The following is a narrative of a great experience (people, process, service, facility) at a minor league sporting event – key points that could apply to any business are in bold… Mark and I pulled into the parking lot, excited about the game.  The Slapshots had been on a roll Read more

Your Best Ability is… - 5/14/24


I enjoy watching sports, and I’ve even listened to some sports press conferences over the years, just to hear what coaches are saying.  Basically getting the leadership perspective from the sports industry either out of my interest or curiosity, or to figure out how to apply it to the Read more

A Complaint is a Gift - 5/7/24


A complaint is a gift.  Okay, so the complainer is not always a “gift.”  The customer’s delivery of the complaint is sometimes more like a stocking filled with coal than a vase filled with roses.  But this is why we need to be able to differentiate the complaint from Read more

Mastering Confidence in Customer Service - 4/30/24


It’s not what you said…it’s how you said it. If you’ve ever had someone say this to you, raise your hand.  (I just raised my hand) Usually this is being said when someone is upset with you, but regardless of the reason, that phrase illustrates that HOW we say something often Read more

Be Amazing - 4/23/24


Watching Michael Jordan steal a pass and then dunk a basketball is amazing.  Taking a rocket to the moon is amazing.  The taste of my mom’s homemade beef soup is amazing. We all have our personal examples of what is amazing.  Usually, it’s something that we cannot comprehend, that we Read more

Talk About Yourself to Build Customer Confidence - 4/16/24


When you’re dealing with somebody who is anxious or nervous about a situation, a customer who feels like they don’t have much control, an individual who is unsure and uncertain, it’s important to put the customer at ease.  It’s important to build their comfort level.  It’s important to help Read more

Canceling Internet Service – 8 calls, 5 employees, 5 tweets, 2 phones, and a Partridge in a Pear Tree

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

Welcome to my nightmare from Saturday. I wanted to cancel internet service at my home, and this is what transpired…

Web Attempt to Cancel

I logged into to my account on the company website to cancel internet service (but keep my television service). The website FAQs said that I could not cancel over the internet, and it provided a number to call.

Call Attempt #1

  • I called a toll free number found on the website.
  • The system stated “I noticed you’re calling from an out of town number,” which seemed odd since it was a toll-free number.
  • It said to press 1 for Los Angeles, 2 for El Segundo, etc. I’m in Charlotte, so I wasn’t expecting the El Segundo reference.
  • The system asked what I was calling about, and I said to disconnect; after I confirmed again that it was to disconnect…I got the proverbial “All of our agents are currently busy” message.
  • After 8 minutes of silence (absolutely no noise, beeps, or music), I hung up.

Call Attempt #2

  • I called the same number and went through the same menu.
  • The call was transferred to a representative after 2 minutes of the menus, and he picked up immediately – whew!
  • Charles introduced himself; I introduced myself.
  • He then said “Is anyone there? I cannot hear anyone. If I don’t, I will be forced to hang up.” After not hearing my repeated statements of “Hello! Charles! Can you hear me?!”, he hung up.

Call Attempt #3

  • I used a different phone (a cell instead of the landline at the house), called the same number and went through the same menu.
  • I received the “All of our agents are currently busy” message.
  • This time I DID get music and a message about every 90 seconds about agents being busy.
  • I held for 26 minutes, and it disconnected me and started beeping…
  • While I was on hold, I tried to do an online chat, and they also said I couldn’t cancel via the web, but they gave me a different number to call to cancel.

Call Attempt #4

  • I called the alternative toll free cancellation number.
  • It sent me through a menu (at least they didn’t ask me about El Segundo…).
  • I received the “All of our agents are currently busy” message.
  • They picked up after 7 minutes, and they could hear me…hallelujah!!!!!!!!!!!
  • I confirmed several items for the representative, and then they all of a sudden couldn’t hear me, so they disconnected me – UGH!!!!

Call Attempt #5

  • I called the alternative toll free cancellation number again.
  • It sent me through a menu again, and I received the “All of our agents are currently busy” message.
  • I Tweeted, they responded within 4 minutes – WOW…Great!
  • Still holding on call #5…
  • They picked up in 6 minutes but couldn’t hear me…I’ve tried 2 different phones (1 AT&T landline and the other Verizon cell), and they couldn’t hear me on the landline, and they both could and could not hear me on the cell.

Call Attempt #6

  • I called the alternative toll free cancellation number again.
  • It sent me through a menu again, and I received the “All of our agents are currently busy” message.
  • I tweeted again but didn’t get a response.
  • After 6 minutes, I finally got through to the 4th rep on my 6th call using my 2nd phone, 2nd phone provider, and 2nd toll free number. She “couldn’t hear me,” and disconnected my call.

It’s interesting that the provider initially responded so quickly to my tweets. When I tweeted that my frustration was about cancellation, they didn’t return the tweet.

I later sent a summary tweet with my concerns, and they did respond and asked me to Direct Message them so they could schedule a call. We did so, and they promised a call in 2-4 hours; the call came 48 hours later.

I returned the call and left a message; they returned my call, and we got it canceled.

Finally Tally

I initiated 8 calls, talked to 5 employees, called 3 phone numbers, used 2 phones, tweeted 5 times, made 2 web attempts (via website and live chat) and now all I have to do is bring their modem to one of their facilities during their hours to cancel their service. I think cancelling their TV service will be next…if I’m willing to go through the hassle again.


One Company’s Path Toward Greater Customer Service…

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

Chart the course. It’s easier to get to where you need to go if you have a path, a map, direction, a guide.

But when starting in the muck, achieving the vision is that much more difficult.

That’s where Charter Communications is/was according to a recent CED article. They hired an individual with success at a telecommunications company to come in and revamp their customer service. Here’s some of what John Birrer did and is doing for them:

· Helped them create/refine their metrics that measure customer satisfaction and retention.

· Emphasized the importance of teaching “soft skills” to front-line staff since they’re the ones engaging the customers.

· Has supervisors role play customer service situations with staff.

· Created ongoing employee and customer feedback systems focused on continually improving customer service.

· Training staff to build their product/process knowledge as well as those customer service skills.

· Involving partner companies in the customer service initiatives.

· Instituted follow-up calls with customers served in the past 48 hours.

And what have they found from these efforts? Improved customer satisfaction and reduced operating costs.

If you want to improve customer service, satisfaction, and loyalty, find an expert, address metrics/processes/people, and make sure your staff are empowered and enabled (through training and technology) to succeed.

Need an expert (FYI – you can e-mail me at edward.gagnon@cssamerica.com !)

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/


Social Media and Customer Service – Are you integrating?

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

It’s a big buzz in the customer service world and in the business world in general. It’s all about social media – Twitter, Facebook, whatever your preferred flavor may be.

In the article Carriers using social media to measure & improve customer service, an IBM exec notes during a forum in Dublin, Ireland that a recent study indicates 33% of consumers overall look for product information via social media while 50% of 18-25 years olds search the social platforms.

Panelists on the topic agreed that “Effective social campaigns to measure and improve customer experience require individualized attention and an increased response speed.”

Let’s stop. Forget about the fact that we’re talking about social media; I’ll even take that word out of the statement. Think about your store. Your online business. Your hospital. Your bank. Your sports team or club.

Now read this statement again: “Effective campaigns to measure and improve customer experience require individualized attention and an increased response speed.”

This fact is NOTHING NEW!

It applies to your storefront, your web, your phone response systems, and – yes – social media. Social media may set an expectation for more immediacy since people using that vehicle are part of a demographic typically looking for quick information and response. Also, from the company’s perspective, since social media can “go viral” to many hundreds or thousands of people quickly, there is a need to address issues fast to maintain the brand and minimize customer churn.

But the core point applies throughout any business; it goes beyond social media. If you want to measure and improve your customer’s experience, get to know your customer as an individual. Communicate with them as an individual. Respond to them quickly…as an individual.

Integrate Social Media and Customer Service in your business, but when you do it, keep in mind that you’re not using Social Media just to promote and sell to existing clients.

You’re doing it to serve your customer as an individual.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/