It comes to us all eventually, that time when we transition from a reasonable human being that can shrug off peoples inadequacies and turn the other cheek, to a grumpy old person who will no longer take things lying down. The transition is so slow that you may not even be aware that it’s happening, but it is, and the effects can be startling.
I have to report that I now fall into this category. Customer service is the thing that annoys me the most, or to be more accurate, the lack of. Missed appointments, shoddy workmanship, promises of a ring back etc all contribute to my ever escalating blood pressure. Where you would expect a major company such as a utilities company for instance to be efficient, courteous and knowledgeable, you will usually find you are bitterly disappointed.
Whereas such a company will spend tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds on both online and offline marketing, they are let down by inadequately trained staff and poor customer service. I’ve lost count of the amount of arguments I’ve had on the phone with various call centres who are 1. reading from a script 2. struggling with conversation as English isn’t their native language, and 3. have no technical ability whatsoever. It is difficult not to launch into a verbal onslaught that would have Gordon Ramsey nodding his head in approval. However, in my move from the mild mannered Clark Kent to a typically grumpy old sod, I have found sarcasm the best way forward, such comments as “Are you on work experience?” “is there an adult there I can speak to?” and “if you give me your home phone number I can ring you back when you neglect to call me back when you say you will”.
Failure to Convert
It’s not just the utility companies either that have got it all wrong. I remember walking into a reputable and well known computer store a couple of years ago with a view of spending some of my hard earned cash on a brand new computer. The young assistant clearly didn’t have the training required to answer technical questions and even when a more senior assistant tried to come to the rescue, he too, fell far short of both technical knowledge and basic customer service. The result was, they lost a sale. In a world of marketing and considering the amount of time and money spent on marketing, to not get a sales conversion is lunacy. It is so frustrating at times for the customer and I’m convinced that these failings have contributed to my premature entry into the grumpy old sod club.
Just think how much you would save on your bills if these companies actually gave you good service. A reduction in phone calls, less staffing costs and less claims would lower your monthly/quarterly and outright purchase costs and everyone would be happy, and lets face it, we all want to be happy. What I’m trying to say here is, you can spend as much as you like on offline and online marketing, but you’re wasting your money if you can’t convert a sale due to poor customer service. So, if you’re providing a service, take heed, you may be falling at the last fence. If you’re a consumer and you next find yourself in this position, don’t blow your top and start screaming, try a bit of good old-fashioned sarcasm. Works for me.