Over the years we have learned to accept that no longer will a customer's problem be resolved quickly. With the invention of IVR (automated phone systems), companies have found a way to make customers "go away" when they have an issue. Very few have the patience to go through an entire complaint process.
Companies have gotten clever and begin their IVR dialogue with "Please listen carefully as our menus have changed." After several frustrating, time-consuming attempts we have all tried to "one up" the system so we cleverly choose "Press 1 for sales" figuring a real, live person would probably answer more quickly if they felt we wanted to buy something.
Once answered, it is most common to be talking to someone overseas. Now, not only is there often a language barrier, there's also an automated system giving the operator automated responses. However, those customer service employees are empowered to say only one word. NO.
Not enough firms use humans to answer the phone in 1 or 2 rings. They love technology. If they took the time to ask their customers about it, however, they would find out the vast majority of customers hate IVR. So, the question is obvious: Are they trying to create a great customer experience, or are they trying to be the tops in technology?
Very few firms seem interested in keeping customers and creating a great customer experience. Companies that are committed to service recovery know they can win customers for life by solving their problems. They go beyond the call of duty to make sure their customers are happy with their products and service. But what happens when the company doesn't solve the problem? What is the next step? We all have tried to contact customer service, supervisors, and managers. And just like most everyone in the same situation... we end up nowhere.
Too few of us complain, so most organizations believe they provide awesome service. You need to start by writing a letter to the company. Let them know that your situation was not handled properly and that you are dissatisfied. Here are a few steps to help you write the appropriate letter.
In addition to the above, a good letter consists of five simple elements, whether you are just "calling your attention to" or saying "I think someone ought to be aware of..." They are:
You deserve to be treated respectfully and have a great customer experience. We all do. Keep in mind that you are doing a business, government, or nonprofit organization a favor when you complain. You are helping them provide better customer service to everyone. You are helping them turn a bad situation into a good one.
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