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What Happened to Customer Service?

Nancys avatarWhatever happened to customer service with a personal touch?  I have been with this same company since 2001, which is when I started calling them about “dropped calls,”  a common occurrence since their customer base was growing faster than their capacity.

Talking to a real person was easy.  I would dial their service number, hit zero and get a service rep.  Not so today.  The other day I thought it would be simple to call and get someone to answer a few questions since it was very early in the day.  After going through the menu prompts, I was told to put in my password.  Really?  All I wanted to do was get a few generic questions answered, nothing specific to my account.  I was then told that they were transferring my call and it may be monitored and recorded, and then proceeded to hang up on me.  I went through this exercise 3 more times being careful to follow the directions.  By the 4th phone call I was hitting all the numbers, yelling into the phone and telling them what I really thought of them. 

My next move was to go into their store and talk with a living, breathing person.  I waited ½ hour and then met with a customer salesperson who actually listened to me.  He had empathy, knowledge and patience with my questions.  I didn’t have to remember my password, which I still don’t know, and my mobile phone history was on his screen in 10 seconds.  Their store location is only 10 minutes from my house, but what about the people who don’t have this convenience?

It seems that most businesses are now switching over to a computerized answering system.  Very few of them make the caller feel important.  On the contrary!  The caller, albeit a customer, patient or client, ends up not getting the correct information they need and, more often than not, hang up the phone feeling frustrated.  I guess we have all heard the stories about people calling a suicide line or 911 and being put on hold.  Tsk, tsk!

Oh, by the way, my mobile carrier is Verizon, one of the largest wireless communication companies with the widest coverage. If I wanted to change carriers, where do I go?  SiliconIndia.com recently reported that there will be 7.3 billion mobile phones in use by 2014.  In other words, there will be more in-use cell phones than there are people on the planet right now.  Face it, they got us!

As a side note, the Verizon person I spoke with at their store will be a guest on my new podcast – Bitchin’ with Nancy & Chris.  Yes, you can listen anytime on our phone, computer or iPod.  CLICK HERE

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