Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Good customer service is like porn

I have read that it is difficult to define Pornography, but "I know it when I see it"  I think the same can be said for Customer Service.  I cannot define "Good Customer Service" but I know it when I see it.  I think that similarly I cannot define "Bad Customer Service" but I know it when I see it as well.

Recently, I had a situation where I paid a bill, but when I did, the payment to this company was posted to the wrong account.  I had several accounts and I didn't figure out that the payment was posted to the wrong account until the next month when one account was overpaid and the other was past due and I got a call from their "Customer Service" asking when I would pay.

I told them that I had paid, and while I had her on the phone I logged into the web site and checked my accounts and saw the problem.  I told her I had a credit balance on one account and could I transfer the credit balance to the other past due account.  "When are you going to pay" was the response, like she wasn't even listening.  I told her I would go to the store and she said, "When?" and I said "Today" to give up since she wasn't even listening.  To be fair I am so sure she gets all kinds of excuses and is probably trained to not even listen to the crap she gets...

So I went to the store customer service and got a number and waited.  When it was my turn I gave the "customer service" rep, both account statements, showing the credit balance on one and the past due on the other and asked, "can I transfer the credit balance to the past due account?"  "Not possible" was the response.  So I said, "Ok can I get a refund on the overpayment"  "Not possible, you can consume the credit balance but we won't process a refund unless you close the account with a credit balance"  "So you won't or can't correct a mistake?"  "we made no mistake"  I said "well I cannot prove it, but when I made the payment I assume the clerk looked me up by name, found an account and posted the payment.  I cannot prove it but I think that is what happened."  "That's not our fault."

The amount was trivial, just $30 so I paid it and will consume the overpayment and I will make the payments directly from the bank on-line so no human customer service rep can "not make a mistake".

I cannot define bad customer service, but I know it when I see it and this was definitely it.

We at O4BO believe in "Good Customer Service" and we treat all our customers with respect and do not avoid good customer service by claiming a problem is not our fault.  If a customer has a problem, our job is to try to find a solution, no matter how the problem came about.


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