“Lip Service” Please make it STOP!

Here’s some advice. I normally charge for advice, but I’m in a giving mood today. This advice is for any manager, owner, or anyone involved in some type of customer service implementation or strategy. Ready?…………

If it’s more than 5 questions, and takes more than the click of a mouse to answer e.g,  “Click 1 for Horrible or 10 for Outstanding”  you’re kidding yourself and should get what you deserve, Nothing! If you have a follow-up “Customer courtesy call” and you don’t shop your own call center, you’re wasting my time, your time, and everyone’s money. So please I beg of you, Stop! The longer this facade goes on, the more damage it does to any company offering true customer service. You’re giving your peers a bad name and it’s embarrassing.

Here are a few examples I’ll use that yours truly came across within the last month. Remember, I’m a repeat customer, I buy often, and I pay for membership privileges to these accounts. One would think they truly want my opinion, but oh the “Lip Service” makes them prisoners of their own fate. So here we go…………….

“Please take our survey to tell us how were doing, it will only take 20 minutes to fill out.”………..You’ve got to be kidding me…20 MINUTES!..I’ve also had others only ask for 10 MINUTES!  So I guess some brainiac believed they’re improving my condition by cutting the misery in half?  Yeah, that’ll do it!

“Please type your answer in the box provided. Please answer in detail to your overall experience”…….Sure, hold on while I review my notes. Should I include how aggravating getting this survey is to the experience also? How many words can I type here, this could rival War and Peace.

Here’s a great follow-up call I received from my cable company after an “Upgrade” I just purchased…..Hello Mr. ah Street..ah Sirey…I know my name can be hard for some at first glance..but anyone with experience in meeting or talking with people will tell you, Trick #1…Say who you are and why you’re calling…then politely say, I don’t want to get the pronunciation wrong, can you say you name for me? It’s not that difficult and should be known by anyone dealing with people!  Here’s the rest…….

Caller : You had an upgrade to your equipment yesterday, how’s it working?

Me: So far it seems OK…but I was supposed to get another service also, but it’s not available.

Caller: Oh..That wouldn’t be us…You need to call this phone number..1 800 blah blah blah…

Me: Excuse me, but aren’t you calling me to find out if I have any problems with the equipment?

Caller: Yes but I’m just calling about the equipment, you know, the new box the installer put in, how’s that working?

Me: OK..well..Yesterday when your installer came, the poor guy went through 3 boxes that all of them were junk and didn’t work. It wasn’t until he went through hooking up a 4th box that it finally seemed to work. I felt embarrassed for the installer, he apologized, and I understand it’s not his fault, but whoever is putting these boxes out for delivery and……….

Caller: Sir, that wouldn’t be me who would handle that, you would need to call this other number..1 800 blah blah blah….

Me: What is the reason why you are calling me again?

Caller: To check on how the equipment is operating.

Me: This is the most useless call I have received that I can remember in a Long… Long time…goodbye…and don’t call again……click.

Epilogue: Ten minutes later, my televisions went blue screen stating..”Your service has been temporarily suspended for Non-Payment..Please contact..1 800 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ “. I called and the issue was resolved, I told my story to this customer service agent…The response?  “Oh My!”    The result…just more lip service.

Mark