When you need some help/information/service, you call the relevant customer care number. The receiver will provide the desired assistance. That’s what you think. That’s what you hope. Till you hear his/her voice on the other end. You instantly know what to expect! The communication confirms your fears. It lacks clarity, sounds impersonal and is far from assuring! You try again. You fail again.
How many times have you encountered a situation, thus? Where you never got your problems resolved despite a couple of calls, you decided to ‘dump it’ and live with the problem
I once had a problem with my enterprise mails. The mails on my yahoo and gmail accounts would instantly be delivered to my smart phone while the ones from my business account would sometimes not find its way to the same! Neither the Company nor the service providers could help me resolve this issue. It was extremely frustrating. Not receiving business mails on my smart phone crippled me. It meant that I could not think, work or make quick or instant decisions while on the move, The end result: delay in critical transactions.
This pushed me to find a solution myself. I went ahead and concluded that it must be a device problem and bought myself a new phone. Did it help? NO. Another round of ‘customer care’ didn’t help either. Poorer by Rs.20,000 and yet no solution ! I was exasperated!
Half enthusiastically, I attempted to obtain some help from “customer care” again. What other options did I have? After a few failed and extremely frustrating attempts I got connected to someone who seemed like a ray of hope to me! Heseemed to be very sensible and who took me through all the right steps; but when everything he said failed to solve the issue, he did not give up; he asked me to hold the line and connected to his supervisor. With more experience and knowledge, the supervisor got working …and to my utter shock and relief …in less than 5 mins, we were through!! I felt liberated ! He figured out that the problem was that my mail server had more mails than the acceptable level ! Simply deleting all old mails and that helped synchronizing the server and device .
This experience made me think : There are a few out there who are wired to solve our problems; but there are a large number of people who lack the training and the skill to actually help us in solving our technical issues with the gadgets and systems.
When the right person comes on line, he or she would asks question by probing and clarifying to understand the issue we are facing ; and that would be the first sign that we are talking to the right person. If the person is unable to understand our problem and state the same, then there is no way he/ she would help us solve it.
I am of the opinion that Telecom Companies need to study the subject of ‘customer satisfaction’ closely. They need to understand that two things are critical to ‘customer care’. A genuine attempt and a sound knowledge of the relevant subject. The training process has to be very robust to ensure customer satisfaction; as true measurement of satisfaction based on feedback received from customers could be a challenge I guess. For example, in my case, the company really doesn't know that here was a customer that faced a big problem , spent thousands of rupees and waited for several months before the problem could actually be resolved.
Remember next time you have a problem and have to contact customer care, call till you hear a voice on the other end that sounds clear and confident; the voice that probes and clarifies to understand the problem, and the one that seem to advice and hand hold in taking the right steps to resolve the issue.
PradeepKumar E.T. A Master Black Belt in Six Sigma & Lean and a Certified Executive Coach is the Chief Catalyst at Beyond Z Consulting LLP. Feedback can be e- mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org