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To think that basic customer service today is shit?

(19 Posts)
MrsTawdry Wed 31-Dec-14 12:29:24

I work through an online agency (rather not say which) and have done for 5 years. I'm a freelance writer and editor. I have been waiting far too long for them to release my most recent payment and so contacted them via their "chat" service.

The person who spoke to me didn't apologise once...just kept reiterating that the payment would be processed today.

This infuriated me! I wanted an apology frankly and I told her that I felt the customer care was very poor and then stropped off. blush

I do feel that an apology is a normal thing to expect. AIBU though? They take a good cut of all my earnings on a monthly basis...in return I expect a good service!

MrsTawdry Wed 31-Dec-14 12:33:04

I wasn't rude but now feel guilty for some reason! Even though I am the one with late bills I need to pay!

MrsTawdry Wed 31-Dec-14 12:38:27

Oh come on! I'd love some input. smile

chilephilly Wed 31-Dec-14 12:46:09

It is the fault of the agency. The person you spoke to doesn't get paid enough to ve ranted at, let alone apologise on behalf of management on 5 times the salary.

MrsTawdry Wed 31-Dec-14 13:00:42

Well I didn't rant. But I do think that as a representative they should apologise on behalf of the agency. After all...what IS the agency if not a collective of staff? The management will probably be hard to reach...

shovetheholly Wed 31-Dec-14 13:19:46

I think a lot of customer service training seriously underestimates the value of a sincere-sounding apology.

I once rang up somewhere in a towering passion to complain. The girl on the end of the phone line immediately offered an unreserved and full apology which sounded completely genuine. She said that there was no way I should have been through the experience with the company and that she would do everything in her power to sort it out, and that she would also make sure I was offered appropriate compensation.

I went from mad, raging, man-eating tiger to tame kitten in about 30 seconds. All the stuff I'd been rehearsing in my head to try to 'persuade' the company of the stress they'd caused went out of the window. I think a lot of the stress in complaining is about how we anticipate not being believed, or trying to make a case to get something sorted out. The moment I knew I wasn't going to have to do either, I relaxed completely.

And I ended up coming away feeling I had actually had a positive experience.

chilephilly Wed 31-Dec-14 13:20:59

I'm glad you didn't rant. I'd hate to be one of those people who answer the phone to angry customers all day. The management are hard to reach because they're shit and they know it, I expect.

MrsTawdry Wed 31-Dec-14 13:24:46

Shove that's it! I was also fuming and that's all I wanted. To be reassured that she would look into it and do her best. I would have been a kitten too then!

Chile it was an online chat...not a phone call. I would never rant anyway. I am always polite. The worst thing I said was "I think this customer service is very poor"

BaffledSomeMore Wed 31-Dec-14 13:30:51

I agree MrsT. An acceptance that you have been inconvenienced by their actions is all it needs and a decent Sorry can defuse a cross caller.
I had a problem with my bank years ago and they sent me flowers with a handwritten apology (and some compo) and I'm still with them.

MrsTawdry Wed 31-Dec-14 13:34:38

I wish I had an alternative but I don't....I'm so annoyed. I think I will write to the MD as I've had connection with him previously when he's come to me for my opinion on things.

wobblyweebles Wed 31-Dec-14 13:41:44

Name and shame...

wobblyweebles Wed 31-Dec-14 13:41:48

Name and shame...

BallsforEarings Wed 31-Dec-14 13:48:15

Yes I do feel level of customer service can make or break a company over time, if a customer is upset, it does not matter if the receptionist is responsible for the issue or not, she should be apologising and empathising for England!

The person at the front line of contact for the public should be the person who calms an angry customer first, he/she is representing to company's value system, whatever happens at that first point of contact will stay in the customer's mind for a long time!

Toughasoldboots Wed 31-Dec-14 13:49:54

I agree, I am having a nightmare with selfridges- first world problem- and I thought that their customer service would be second to none.

It is shit.

Greydog Wed 31-Dec-14 13:50:32

Many years ago before technology was so advanced(!) I used to send out final reminders asking people to phone if they had paid a bill. You'd sort them into paid/not paid and throw the not paid away. Only one day I didn't and sent the lot out. Managed to contact most to apologise, but a chap rang up in a towering strop to say he wanted to speak to the bloody fool that sent him this. "That would be me, sir. I have tried to contact you to let you know that I've made the most ridiculous error. Your payments here, & I'm sorry about this" - Long silence. Chap burst out laughing - and thanked me for my honesty. But, that was when I had time to speak to customers. People now still care, but don't have the time to explain/understand/speak. If they do, they will no doubt be on a discipline for exceeding the two minutes they are allotted to deal with a customer. Because customers now are an inconvenience. No one provides a service - they just want your money

vickibee Wed 31-Dec-14 13:51:55

There is no face to face contact anymore, automated robotic call centres with exhaustive menus and lengthy waits. I had to call hmrc a few weeks ago and when our phone bill came it was £8 for the call

JackSkellington Wed 31-Dec-14 14:17:37

I wasn't treated/paid anywhere near enough to care when I worked in a call centre. All that mattered were call handling times, answering calls and getting customers off the phone in less than however many minutes.
Plus hardly anyone has in-house customer service anymore. I worked for an outsourcing company (on behalf of a very well-known premium brand) so focus was primarily on stats, not customer satisfaction.

YANBU OP, I think CS staff need to be treated better and paid a decent wage then they might be more willing to help.

MrsTawdry Wed 31-Dec-14 14:56:17

Vicki that is disgusting! Especially when I think of my neighbour who only has a mobile and is on a low income!

Hatespiders Wed 31-Dec-14 15:14:09

Oh I don't know... I've had to contact M&S recently about my car insurance and the lady was brilliant and so kind.

I also find that the call centres based in India have the most delightful, polite and helpful staff you could wish for. I rang a credit card company only yesterday about their offer of 0% credit for a year, and the Indian man was very patient. He probably gets paid per caller, but nonetheless he explained all I wanted to know, did some complicated calculations for me, checked I understood, said he wished he could come and share a cup of tea round mine but lived too far away, and wished me a Happy New Year. And I always realise that the poor staff are working in the middle of the night due to the time scale in India.

Mind you, don't, if you can help it, try ringing HMRC!! You'll end up biting somebody!

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