Handling customer complaints seems to be a thing of the past. There use to be a time when you could call a company’s customer service department with a complaint and it was handled. Taken care of. Resolved.
It doesn’t seem to be that way any longer. Let me give you a perfect example. This is a bit long but you need to read it to the end. That’s where you will find the one simple technique to handling customer complaints.
About two weeks ago I made some changes in my internet and home phone service. (yes I’m one of those who hasn’t given up my landline) The first issue was that I felt, from the letter I received, I was being forced to make a change. I wanted to know why. Everything was working great. At least for me.
So reluctantly I scheduled the service. It was set for one afternoon during a two hour window. Well, the day before the service was to change, I get an email indicating it was scheduled for the day after my scheduled date. I make the call.
Handling Customer Complaints
After a short discussion I was assured my service would happen on the original day scheduled. But now I have a four hour window. Not happy.
As the end of the four hour window approached, I still had not heard from the technician indicating he was on the way. I make another call.
I was told the tech was on his last call and would not be able to provide the service the phone company forced me to schedule. I’m not happy. I let the customer service rep know this and that it was unacceptable. I told the rep to do what she had to do to get my service completed. Today!
On Hold…After a discussion with a supervisor by the rep, I was again told it wouldn’t happen. Now I’m beyond not happy. I had taken four hours out of my day, with no internet. Again, I reminded the rep they were the ones who forced this change and demanded it happen, now.
I have to say the rep was doing all she could to help handle my complaint. It was the supervisor that was the hold up. After another hour or so, she got the service scheduled.
The tech came out made the installation and I was happy again. Two hours after my four hour window. The tech did a great job and was very pleasant to talk with. Kudos to him.
I determined that handling customer complaints was not one of the supervisor’s strong points.
A few days after the installation I get my bill. Before I have time to pay it, I get another bill. What? Two bills?
Even though I thought I knew the reasoning, I still had a couple of questions I wanted to get resolved. I made another call.
So, I call the number on the bill and the customer service (or no customer service) rep answered. I explain my situation and question.
“I’m not in that department. You will have to call the 800 number on your bill.”
Hello! I did call that number and got you. So I call another number and start over. Again, I was told to call the 800 number on the bill. Not going to happen.
Finally, I get this one guy who really did want to help but he didn’t have that “system” to resolve my question. Which had now become a very strong complaint.
He suggested he transfer me to the “retention” department. What? Retention? Never once did I say I wanted to switch my service. Though the thought was beginning to cross my mind.
After an hour on the phone, the kind lady in the retention department quickly resolved my issue.
Now here’s the good part.
She listened. Yep. She listened to what I had to say. In fact, she said that once I started explaining that I had two bills she knew what my question was. She said she wanted to listen to all I had to say before giving me the simple answer to my issue.
Can you imagine? She listened. This simple technique was all it took to resolve my problem.
When was the last time you had an issue with a service and when you called for a resolution to your issue, there was none? Or at the least you had to talk to several customer reps before it was resolved.
Handling customer complaints is not rocket science folks. All you have to do is listen.