Customer Service is dead
<Rant Mode: On>
Its true, there is nothing but Customer Disservice left in this world and we are kinda to blame. Don't get me wrong, there is no excuse for failing to serve your customers. I have had possibly the worst customer service ever from the likes of (I love naming names) o2 on many occasions, BT, NThell, Budget Insurance and Norwich Union.
There is one reason for the problems occuring and the problems not getting resolved when they do occur. Cost. Companies are obsessed, because of consumers, with being the cheapest, and nobody, not one, is concerned with being the best. That leaves little in the pot for enough staff, sufficient training and a salary to reflect how important they are in the corporate machine. Does a call center worker on £12k really care that you might leave the multi-million pound telco firm with one less customer?
Its the same even with fast food industries in my opinion. Their one redeeming feature for customer service (it sure ain't the food) is speed. It used to be "Whatever you want SIR, its ready to eat, and hot too". But that attitude has had to change over the last 5 years in my opinion. "We can't afford to throw loads of stale warm food away MATE, so if you park/sit over there it will be ready when I can be bothered."
Its all the same thing though, we don't like to pay and we don't like to wait, but it would appear that we can't have it both ways. I for one would ask that companies consider the real cost of providing real customer service, pitch their prices accordingly and accept that customer service is not something that costs businesses money, it IS business! Do something for a customer, they pay you, don't do it, they stop paying you pretty quickly.
Be it emails that take weeks (14 sent to o2 and still no resolution) to get a response, if ever; Phone calls that inform you "We are experiencing (AS EVER!!!) high call volumes, you are 145th in the queue and should expect to wait 6 years before an agent will be with you, we really do care about your custom" or clueless loons such as Rufus that, when you finally get a response, have failed so catastrophically to understand what you are trying to acchieve, they abuse you for daring to expect something to work properly. If just one person at one company shows me they care, I'll stick by them for as long as that person stays with the company!
The only real solution is to start demanding it. I don't let them get away with it, I won't just close my account. I will keep asking, as politely as possible for what is right. Until we all make companies serve their customers, they can keep reducing the customer service budget, keep shedding call centre staff, even shedding the tiresome job it is to run a call centre by letting some indians do it.
Lets start a war! Lets have a resolution! Lets make businesses look after the wage payers, not the shareholders!
<Rant Mode: Off>
Apologies, your article appears to have pushed my "Mental" button. It wont' happen again!