“What is…” Wednesday – What is customer service?

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In the past, Rachel has written blogs on the power of customer service and social media. She has found success tweeting the companies that she has issues with, and not only getting responses, but getting resolutions.

So, when I was having a customer service issue, Rachel suggested I take it to Twitter. And I did. However, unlike Rachel, I did not get a resolution after talking to their social media teams for THREE days, and I still had to pick up the phone and talk to seven other people before getting a temporary resolution.

Abbie had an issue with the same company last week, and again, took it to Twitter. She had no luck either, but unlike me, she also did not get a resolution over the phone.

I used to be a customer service supervisor in a department store, and we were always told “Do what you need to to make the customer happy when leaving the store.”  So this makes me wonder, what is customer service over the phone? Why can this unnamed company not empower their customer service employees to take care of the issue, instead of arguing and angering the customers?

What are your thoughts? Is customer service a thing of the past?

Kelly Potts
Kelly Potts
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

5 Comments

  1. I received a survey from the above-not-mentioned-by-name company. I ran out of room sharing my thoughts and concerns. That was three days ago, still no response.

  2. Kelly Potts says:

    I was asked over the phone, “Why are you not satisfied with the service you received?” Maybe because I had to talk to SEVEN people before someone would help?!

  3. I believe that a business survives on their customer service alone. And, now with social media I am a big advocate of empowering SM managers to resolve a certain level of issues with their audience. I know of a couple SM managers that have this kind of authorization with the business owner/manager which allows them to send out a gift card to the disgruntled diner or take it upon themselves to work with company management to immediately find a resolution for the customer or at least to have management contact the customer directly and quickly, thereby removing the discussion on-line quickly.

  4. Blake says:

    Customer service is SO bad anymore whether in person or on the phone. I think though, the anonymity of the phone, if you get to talk to a human that is, makes customer service that much worse. On more than one occasion, by large companies (Amazon to name one) when calling in to get technical service on something, I have been hung up on when I questioned how/why something is the way it is. Terrible customer service!! If they thought I was frustrated with their product or company before, hanging up on me makes it exponentially worse! They know though the chances of me talking to them again, and not one of a hundred other reps, is unlikely so what do they care!?

    I guess the only “silver lining” I can see is that it does make me realize and appreciate it that much more when I DO get great customer service.

  5. Kelly Potts says:

    I agree! Abbie and I had similar terrible experiences with the same company over social media, and they all said “sorry, we cannot do anything about that” or “we are not authorized to make that decision”. Why be the customer service reps if you cannot service?

    Thanks for your comments Blake and Mike! I guess good customer service isn’t a normal thing anymore!

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