Service on Hold
The phone rang, answered, placed on hold. I looked at my watch. Two more rings, answered by a pleasant-sounding female voice asking what she could help me with. I explained to her that I wanted to look at other options for my cable and internet service. She replied quickly, “Please hold”. The void was filled with tin drums and background sounds of birds and the ocean.Two minutes passed and the Caribbean sounds were replaced by the sounds of a string quartet. I am not sure if the decision makers chose the channels of their music on hold service by level of anxiety it would cause said customer or if they were running an experiment on how long said customer could stand it without hanging up or blowing their head off. I digress.
The music stopped and a bored-sounding male asked what he could assist me with? I reiterated what I told his predecessor. Bored-sounding stated that I was emailed in August. I replied, “About what? The price increase?”. Monotone replied “Yes”.
Monotone coughs, clears his throat, and says,” I have looked at your account and I see that you had a special bundle that expired the first of September. I asked what he could do to decrease the $197.00 bill to a more affordable option. He asked if I have a landline. I stated that I did not. The price for the newly bundled package was $2.00 less than my current bill but included phone service which I did not need. I am sure you see where this conversation was quickly heading. I closed my eyes, counted to five, then in a calm, friendly voice thanked him and politely requested to speak to another representative. His response, “Please hold.”
The Pain Point
The representative I was transferred to was extremely helpful, her tone of voice expressed to me that she truly cared about my concerns, and most importantly she took the time to listen to me. I would say that “helpful” did an outstanding job with satisfying my needs or “pain point”. Customer service is changing and we face it each time we wait in line at a local fast food restaurant, or at the checkout at the supermarket.
Mobile devices, the internet, technology, are all blamed for the disconnect. Society relies on them to feel apart of the world. The next time you are in a store or walking down the street observe others and I guarantee that most if not all those people you see walking past are engrossed on what their friends are sharing on Facebook, Twitting on Twitter, or the latest cat video on YouTube or Instagram. These social media outlets serve a purpose and I am as guilty as the next Snap chatter. We distance ourselves from each other. To feel connected we use social media, computers, and other technology.
People need people. Without that truth we will not know how to socialize with each other. The two people I spoke to at the cable company did not connect with me, did not listen to what problems I had, and how they could assist me with trying to solve that problem. Is technology solely to blame for this? No we are. Listen to people, hear what they are saying, and help them if you can.