fast company on customer service
April 11, 2001 8:36 PM   Subscribe

fast company on customer service The thing I loved about this article was the associated forum filled with customer service horror stories. Air travel, cable tv companies, and customer service seem to be things people love to complain about.
posted by rdr (5 comments total)
Well, I work in a call center, and the anecdote concerning poor Chad with Sprint PCS is right on. Chad appears to genuinely want to do his job, but has to deal with entirely too many other people in the company in order to perform it, because he isn't allowed the tools to deal with customer problems directly. One of the forum posters pointed that out...

It's all about complexity.

I only saw a few comments in that forum from people who mentioned that they had worked in a customer service capacity. No one calls customer service unless the problem has spiraled out of control, and by the time said customer gets a rep on the phone, many of them are so abusive to the people who are supposed to be trying to help them that the morale among CSRs goes straight in the tank, and unhappy people aren't likely to take an interest in "delighting customers" when most of their days are spent having their lights put out. This comment hits it right on the head for retail sales expectations.
posted by Electric Elf at 10:15 PM on April 11, 2001

I like:

This is not the out-moded British Empire idea that being a clerk or servant is generally accepted as being second class and worthy of condescending and abusive treatment as standard business behavior.

Let's just say that one of the more interesting facets of being a Brit in a relationship with an American is my instinctive desire to apologise for being on the receiving end of bad service -- "Oh, no, that's all right, don't worry, I'll eat it cold" -- while Herself demands to see the manager. It's "good cop, bad cop" in action.
posted by holgate at 11:11 AM on April 12, 2001

This story has an interesting conclusion. Apparantly this guy doesn't realize that there's no editor looking at his submission.

That is, unless *****Don't print next comment**** is some outdated HTML command I've never heard of. I hope the 'national book seller online' isn't reading his comment -- if they are, James Gorman from New Fairfield, Connecticut may be getting a bill sometime soon.
posted by OneBallJay at 11:48 AM on April 12, 2001

When did this exaggerated sense of entitlement take over common working people's idea of "customer service"?

From my experiences in retail, this is exactly the problem. I believe that quite often it's not the service that's bad, it is the customer's expectations that are ludicrously high. This is why retail workers and customer service folks get the attitude that customers are a nuisance, because quite often they are. Coming into a bookstore and asking someone to find you a book you heard of on NPR when all you remember about is that the author is Canadian - well, maybe such behavior doesn't deserve open sneers, but such a customer had better not be dumb enough to think they're actually gonna get helped that way.
posted by dnash at 12:24 PM on April 12, 2001

dnash - that would be How Men Have Babies: The Pregnant Father's Survival Guide by Alan Thicke.
posted by OneBallJay at 12:32 PM on April 12, 2001

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