Archive for customer care

Whine is good

Posted in Househusbandy, Nerdy, product with tags , , , , , , on May 27, 2009 by sanaseni

Ever since becoming a househusband, I have had a ton of time to waste on helping companies in doing their business. I average three whines per week, to all organizations big and small. Every now and then, my voice is heard. That is more important than anything else. If the company listens, it will succeed. I will only spend my money on those who listen, as the others will wither while the listeners evolve. Most often there is a shroud of secrecy about how to get the message across.
The customer is often faced with a miniscule problem that absolutely no one cares. Common examples might be “an error message, go back”, “sorry, but we are unable to care” or “computer says no” messages, ones that could easily be logged, found and repaired with some housekeeping.
Then there are the actual problems, you cannot get the info/attention/service you want and was promised. Normally, this results in lost sales. The damage is not that big and these should be attended routinely and tackled massively only if they are the biggest worries.
The worst ones though, are the ones that include a broken cash till. Customer who has seen the ad, gotten to the shop, found the product, decided to buy it, filled in the form, queued to the till and is finally, offering the wad of hard earned notes for stuff they do not really need, but are refused. “No thanks, we do not want your money.”If insisting, offered a “Try again later”. Now for me, that is something that is wrong. There is energy and resources wasted here, I don’t like it. If I have the time, I try to make it right. Like telling the providers.

This is the challenge though, really is. First line of defence is always the customer service person or website. They will not take a message but offer excuses. If the message is forced through this layer, it is quite often going amiss. This is intentional, as the middle management rarely cares to do the job right and proper. Good enough is good enough, the whine needs to be blocked, or at least filtered and then ignored. Only issues that are really pursued and pressured are dealt with, as there is too much to do. More mass of issues being greater than the mass of time is a constant problem really. This forces the middle management into installing an internal messaging platform that can be made to handle the issues. Since there are more issues than time, the load becomes too much to handle and the system is then used to produce statistics of the messages. These statics can be tweaked and then produced as evidence against the whining customer, if necessary.
“I want to get this in blue” only 12% of you want it in blue, so we don’t have it now, but we can order it.
“I ordered it months ago” 88% of orders are delivered within established time parameters
“It does not work” Have you tried rebooting it? 72% of the problems go away after rebooting it.
“It is a pencil” 95% of our customers use a computer
“I want to speak to your supervisor” 25% of the time this happens. You have to fill in this form.
“With what, my pencil is not working!?” We have no records of that ever happening, you must be mistaken. Goodbye…
Now there are few ways of making this right, but they are absolutely never used, since the problem only exists if the no-one gives a shit. This is my theory, and I spend my free time trying to prove myself wrong.

Normally, I do some research to get some names of who might be able to right the wrong. This information is never volunteered and is always hidden. Then, armed with this list of names, I write an email addressing them all. I try to be brief and polite, write without emotions and enable them to make it right. Feedback is rare, promises frequent and proof to my theory is mounting. It is overwhelming, actually. The chain of exploitation goes right from top brass through management and customer care, down to me, the consumer. After a carefully orchestrated play, we find out that I could have gotten what I wanted had I just followed the white rabbit, or if Mr Anderson had taken the blue pill. Or if there wasn’t a glitch in the code.

You know – consumers do not care about reasons. In this ecosystem, the consumer holds all the resources, they should be listened.