The Lack Of Service In Customer Service

from the where-are-the-humans? dept

We're supposed to be a service based economy with so many people employed in service jobs. If that's the case, many are wondering, why is it so damn hard to get a human being on the phone when you call customer service? Everyone has stories about insanely long hold times, being cut off, touch-tone menus that don't make sense, being trapped in IVR-hell, and my personal favorite: simply being told to call back some other time when they aren't so busy. The thing is, technology should be used to make the customer experience better. Instead, it's mostly being used to make supporting customers less expensive. Companies need to realize that customer service is not a cost center - but it's how they build loyalty and repeat customers. This isn't an anti-technology rant. There are certainly customer service technologies that do make the customer experience better. However, most companies don't seem to think through that aspect of customer service, and are only looking for ways to cut costs.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2003 @ 9:54am

    My 2c

    First, the metoos:

    If my call were so important, then I agree: pick it up.

    If a company outsources to India, please make sure that the rep who phones my phone can understand my regional accent, and that their accent is clear enough for my region as well.

    When I'm yelling into some third-world MBNA rep who can't figure out that I'm not Jon Watney and that maybe I shouldn't be hearing about his credit history, I think that the outsourcing to India has gone too far.

    But hey, what are we, the apathetic sheep consumer going to do about it? It's not like we're going to up and move all of our accounts, are we? Are we going to start some movement that rates banks in terms of hold times and milkshake-thick accents, and actually try to get people to abandon those banks that are the worst? Banks only hold our money in accounts as a half-courtesy, these days - look at the (dis)interest - and really don't care if we up and leave, and most of us either have decade long loans or have our money tied up on some bank's mutual funds.

    We can't easily move, and most of us instead just dread the long hold times and the painful part where we actually talk to someone. This, to us, is less work than migrating our stuff, which we should do as capitalists.

    In fact, capitalism rather depends upon us immediately voting with out feet, every day, and we don't, because it's just too painful. In this respect, and after seeing the state of our country leaders, the RIAA and the medical system, capitalism has oh, so soundly failed.

    We just don't see it yet - how do we express our distaste for society? Join another? Yeah, like we're gonna move to Mexico, but that's the thought.

    In short, then, this all may appear to be capitalism not working for us, but really it's us who doesn't work for capitalism.

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