Maybe I am old school, but it took me a really long time to realize that voice mail is a necessary evil. But when we started with the impersonal automated greeting (“Thank you for calling XYZ company, please listen closely as our menus have changed … “), that’s where I had to draw the line.
The concept of customer service has all but gone the way of the dinosaur. It’s as if companies simply don’t care if you are alive or dead anymore, as long as they get paid before you die. Today, for example, I dialed up a major camera company on behalf of my daughter, who’d sent the camera in to get it fixed but received a perplexing e-mail from the manufacturer. I won’t disclose the name of said manufacturer, but I will tell you that it rhymes with “icon.”
The service I got was deplorable at best. I waited 19 minutes on hold before ever getting to talk to someone. Because it took so long, I stepped away from the phone for 10 seconds and, of course, that was when the representative finally found time to speak to me. She promptly hung up before I could talk to her.
That was Monday. I didn’t have time to deal with it anymore after that. Today, I called back and after waiting another 11 minutes, I spoke with a young guy with a thick accent and asked him to reconsider the decision they’d made about fixing my daughter’s camera. The rep, while nice enough I guess, refused. I then asked to speak to his supervisor and he said he’d transfer me – after which the line promptly went dead.
Now I am infuriated! I call back, wait another 10 minutes and speak to another rep with just as thick an accent as the first guy. He gets his supervisor on the phone, and the supervisor essentially gave me the same song and dance. The only thing missing was a top hat and cane.
So I wasted 40 minutes of my life on hold that I’ll never get back and, much like Mick Jagger, I can’t get no satisfaction from this company.
Just like the title of this blog asks, what has happened to service? We’ve become so impersonal nowadays that it’s shocking when someone DOES go out of their way to please a customer, and we’ve become numb to the fact that service has all but disappeared because we’re so used to getting treated like crap by most businesses you deal with these days.
Here’s a tip for struggling businesses that want to carve out a niche in tough economic times: GIVE GOOD SERVICE. Care about your customers. Go the extra mile for them. Show them you appreciate their business. Express some gratitude. If you do those things you have a chance to succeed, because lemme tell you … there’s a 75 percent chance your competition ISN’T doing this.
I will never again buy a camera or any other electronic product from this brand that, well, rhymes with “icon.” When the product breaks within a year and then they won’t stand behind it, in front of it or even alongside it … LOL, it’s time to find another brand. Perhaps one that rhymes with “Kojak, “Tony” or “Dannon?”