Friday, September 11, 2009

What's a girl gotta do to get some service? Apparently, this...

Somewhere in linking from here to there in an attempt to avoid doing any real work yesterday evening, I ran across An Epic Vitriolic Screed. Oh my God, why did I not come up with that incredibly awesome name? I was actually searching for imagery depicting despair. Don't ask why.

I'm not afraid to say it: I love this woman. I don't know her, and in fact I came to this conclusion after only reading ONE of her pieces. Call me a freaky stalker if you will, but I love this woman.

Read her colossal spleen purge about her problems with her $1300 Maytag washing machine that didn't even last a week, and the abysmal service blunders that followed.

The wrap-up is that she DID get excellent service, after going to great lengths--or at least flooding Twitter with what a douchbag Maytag was being. And this wasn't an early fire, she held out longer than I'm afraid I could have.

It pisses me off that people have to do this, more and more, to get the service they deserve from square one. You buy a $1300 washing machine from a local vendor and if it doesn't work a week later, they better roll a new one out to your door within the hour and apologize up and down. (And if they DID, they'd have a thrilled customer that gushes about them, which in turn would endear others to them, which would boost sales, which would... you get the point.)

But no, they don't. More often than not the usual vendor will point fingers, push off the blame, do the bare minimum, and generally not give a shit. And the American public is used to it. That's business as usual.

It's a hilarious read, I'd love to have coffee with this spitfire. I wish that more people took their jobs as SERVICE PROVIDERS and their customers seriously. I wish more companies would give their SERVICE STAFF the power to actually provide service, make decisions and solve problems. It shouldn't take a customer a trip all the way up the chain of a multinational conglomerate all the way to the fucking manager of the executive offices to get something as simple as getting a working product.

And if it does -- as it does more and more these days -- then those companies need to be vilified and destroyed by their own hubris, so someone else can come along and to it better.

The double downside of this customer reality is that people become trained to go straight to being stark raving assholes when a problem arises. At our own little company, you are going to get the manager of the executive offices when you call every time, and he does give a damn about his customers, every single one. We're blessed with a wonderful customer base of bunny loving folks who are thrilled with us, something like 99.99999999997% of the time. But... things happen. It's a real buzzkill to his day when someone comes at him right out of the gate with venom over an issue. We can't blame them; they think they have to: they think they're going to get the same slack-ass customer service they get everywhere else.

Not so. You'd be surprised at how disarming it is to say someone all coffeed up and ready for a fight, "I'm so sorry, that's awful. What can I do to solve this for you?" Sometimes the caller sputters and forges on, not quite ready to believe that we actually care and want to make them happy and hell bent on getting in their fair share of ranting and cursing. But once diffused, an adult conversation can ensue, and solutions can be found.

Just imagine!

[I must not have gone far enough; we're STILL pushing the butt of Wave Broadband... it's one excuse after another. But, at least now, as month THREE unfolds, we are talking with the tech in charge of the project. He says about ten more days. So, is this, like, EARTH days, or days on Saturn? We'll see!]

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