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Great vs Bad Customer Service, and Technology Could Help

I have written a number of times about how good technology doesn’t ensure good customer service. If companies don’t put into place good policies or give their employees the ability to solve customer problems, technology can’t overcome that. Well, it can also be true that technology can “help” ensure good customer service. I say help because it doesn’t guarantee it, it just increases the likelihood of success.

I think many of us have had experiences where we are talking to customer service or technical support, and it turns out that the agent doesn’t have all the information he/she needs to assist you. They either have to transfer you to a different department or put you on hold for a long time while they try to track down the information from a different department. I have experienced this not once, but twice today. I won’t name anybody because it doesn’t affect my point.

In one case, I was trying to resolve my daughter’s hospital bill and asked for additional information so I could be sure we owed the stated amount. They assured me I received it when she was admitted. I replied, “OK, I don’t have it, how do I get it?” Their response, “We don’t have access to that information. It is kept in another department.” I asked, “Can you request it please?”. They said, “No, you will have to get it yourself from them.” Example two, I was trying to resolve my daughter’s auto leasing final bill. What they had sent her in July didn’t match the final invoice. I called and while customer service had visibility into the final bill, they didn’t have access to the previous letter because that came from a different department. Thus, this person couldn’t explain the difference.

Just think, if either of these companies’ reps had access to all my customer information, they could have helped me. But never did, and right now, I am a very unhappy customer. Both of these companies are not in the business where I can pick and choose who I want to deal with based on their poor customer service, but think of how many other companies, both B2B and B2C, where customers do often choose who they purchase from based on the quality of customer service, and they have the same technology at their disposal.

My real frustration. Executives claim that improving the customer experience is critical to them, but very few Walk the Talk and do something about it. Customer Support is still seen as a cost center to most Executives. And until they can see past their next quarterly earnings report, they won’t invest in the technology that would allow support reps to get all the information they need to help customers and truly improve the customer experience.

 

Until Next Time,

Stephen

1 Comment

  • slynn

    While we all get frustrated when this happens, keep in mind that in the majority of cases, it isn’t the customer service rep’s fault, but the environment they are working in.

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