Customer support is something of a bugbear of mine. Part of my job is related to support for our clients, so I know what I should reasonably expect when I need some help from companies that I pay for delivering any of the home services I use.
- It’s not foolish to expect that the service I pay for works, and if I didn’t break it, it should work 24-7
- If I have a question, I want an answer, and I want that answer at a time that suits me
- If I have a problem, I want a solution, and I want to receive the solution at a time when I can do something with it
- I, along with mostly everybody else, use my home services when I am home. People are most likely to be at home outside “business hours”
With the above in mind, here’s the scenario:
It’s about 10 pm on a weekend night. My TV service/broadband goes down. Where is the number to call? On the information page on the TV customer channel (which I don’t have access to). On the website (ditto). On my bill? O dear, I signed up for online billing….. luckily I’ve saved the number on my phone. 20 minutes later I’m still clicking through various automated options, all of which lead to a message telling me to consult the website for further assistance. OK, don’t panic – I’ve also got the email address in my phone. Email goes – automated answer – “we will endeavour to reply to you within two working days”. But don’t despair, they’ve got a Twitter account, right? Back to the phone, open Twitter…and the last message is that the company profile has been offline since 9 pm. Just as well I’ve got that book to finish.
Unsurprisingly, therefore, if I could persuade people to do one thing right now, I would work on the people who decide what constitutes customer service within their organisation to reflect on whether they are spending ridiculous amounts of money on appearing to offer support or if they are offering any kind of service at all.