Grab a cup of coffee and let’s get into a story about customer service.
It’s been a strange few weeks.
We decided to change our internet, TV, AND cellular phone providers.
It’s been planned for a while.
After 2 years of the worst reception and even worse customer service issues, it was time.
But this is not the customer service story I’m going to talk about today.
It’s just the impetus for it.
This tale is about what it took to get the service we wanted.
Read on to what is the most bizarre story.
It was a very interesting and troubling experience.
And not for the reasons you might think.
There were the usual COVID challenges.
Having to wait in line to get in.
But then there were things that we did not expect.
Like being met at a locked door of one street opening store to be asked “what do you want?” We wanted to say “We’re here to sell Girl Guide cookies” but we held our tongues.
Or being told that only 1 of us could go in when there were no other customers there, just in case another customer showed up.
Or standing patiently in a mall store while working with a salesperson only to have the salesperson’s colleague come by in the middle of our conversation and speak to each other in their language in front of us while we waited.
Or the challenge of conversing with masks on and understanding the complexity of the contracts and offers.
BTW none of these people got our business because we left.
No these were not the worst parts.
The worst part was when, based on a client referral, we went to a communication store to switch from the awful service carrier to the one we wanted.
We discussed our needs, reviewed plans, asked more questions, and then decided on the end result.
Then came the kicker.
We were advised that they could not take our business.
You read it correctly.
“We can’t move you from the provider you are with to the one you want”
It turns out that this store chain is owned by the 2 providers we were talking about.
The bad one and the one we wanted to move to.
Apparently, it was “a conflict of interest” for hem to switch us from one to the other.
Here is a customer, me, who clearly knows they want to move from one provider to another, being told I’m sorry we can’t take your business.
I was dumbfounded, to say the least.
We left the store shaking our heads after the salesperson advised he would see what he could do.
To their credit, and a bit mine as I pushed on this, the salesperson did give me the manager’s number whom I called only to be told pretty much the same.
It was not a “for sure” answer as they were going to see if they could take out business but they needed to talk to their head office.
Which I did as well.
Within a few days, the answer came back and we were “allowed” to complete the sale.
Wasn’t that phenomenal?
Whenever something like this happens to me, I immediately think, what is it like for my customers? Are they having such an experience with us? How will I know?
And now back to you.
What is YOUR customer’s experience?
Is it easy to work with you?
Is it easy to reach you if they need help?
How responsive are you?
Just like when building a website or an online business.
You want to reduce the friction by having as few clicks as possible to the desired destination.