Customer Services Cell – A Bit Polite Please!

Most of us have at least once spoken to the customer care department of whatever product or service we own or have availed – be it for registering complaints or enquiring for something or clarifying something or asking for servicing. Of late, customer care centre or the customer services cell has become a vital part of almost everyone’s life: Mobile phone call centres – the most commonly resorted to!

Since the past couple of times that I had dealt with the customer care, the experience has not been all that great and one thing I noticed in common: “Taking the utmost pride in denying or failing to offer a solution.” Doesn’t work for me!

I need a higher capacity (a 6 or a 9 cell) battery for my laptop. What do I do? Look up online – no concrete information, no compatible models mentioned, not even on the official website. I call up the customer care by dialling the only number mentioned on the website. This number was for the Online purchases and Sales department. After going through the ever-irritating IVR, I finally get to speak to the customer services person.

“Good Evening, my name is XYZ, how may I assist you?”

[ “Hey..! I have a laptop of so and so model number I need a 6 cell or a 9 cell battery for the same. Is it available? May I have the model number for the same?” ]

The above would have been my response. But here’s what happened:

“Hey..! I have a laptop of so and so model and I need a 6 cell or a 9 cell battery…”

“Madam! This is not the Technical Support Department. You better call on that! Here we only take order and don’t answer queries!”

Those words came a bit too rudely.

“Uh! Well. Alright! Could you please connect me to the department? I’m sorry there’s no other number on the website.”

“Call on 1800-xxx-yyy”

The line gets disconnected.

I call on the said number: “This number does not exist!”

I again dial the previous number, hoping some polite executive to come my rescue.

“Good Evening, my name is MNS, how may I assist you?”

“Hey..! I have a laptop of so and so model number I need a 6 cell or a 9 cell battery for the same. Is it available? May I have the model number for the same?”

“Madam! This is not the Technical Support Department. You better call on that! Here we only take order and don’t answer queries!”

“Uh! Well. Alright! Could you please connect me to the department? I’m sorry there’s no other number on the website.”

“Call on 1800-xxx-yyyy”

The line gets disconnected.

Finally I connect to the Technical Support Department Executive.

I explain the problem. He asked for some details, asked me to hold on. I waited for some good 3-5 minutes after which the person unholds the call.

“Madam, we don’t keep this information, you call the pre-sales queries department,” he said in a imperative tone.

Feeling like a football, I thought, asking them for a transfer would be futile. I asked for the number instead.

I get a wrong number. I call the same department to find the correct number. I connect to the “Pre-Sales Queries Department” Executive. I explained the issue.

“Madam, give me the model number of the battery you want.”

“I’m sorry, I don’t know which is the higher capacity battery for my laptop that is available. I can’t find it and hence I called you.”

“Then why did you call the “Pre-Sales Queries Department” Madam! This is the matter of the Technical Support Department. I cannot do anything here. Get me the model number first,” he said in an annoying tone.

No prizes for guessing the status of my temper at that time. The man got some ruthless thrashing from my end and in 2 minutes the information I needed was out!

I greeted back with a thank you and disconnected.

 

Looking at the other side of the desk, I understand there are times when you get helpless, left without a solution to the customer’s problems. You could be courteous enough.

Well, who entitled you get rude to me? Isn’t the basic rule of Customer Service to be a bit polite and courteous? Where did that arrogance come from, “I don’t have a solution, woman! You do whatever you want and stop bugging me!” I don’t expect unnecessary sweetness in tone but neither did I ask for such arrogance!

Besides, you’re an electronics manufacturer – use technology to its best. Instead of bothering your executives for remembering numbers, mention all numbers on the website. Why leave a scope for human error? Is information so difficult to manage?

While discussing the episode with a friend, we concluded, “If the customer service is considerate, courteous and efficient, they tend to get loyal customers.”

Customers know how to deal with a “no solution” situation – at last they’ll give up on what they want and make way somehow. But the moment the customer “care” throws an attitude, things go for a toss!

Most of us tend to overlook the language barrier while speaking to customer care executives, only except for we ourselves don’t understand vernacular language. But the tone has of late been a problem for me. Things have become so mechanical for them.

On this note, I faintly remember a scene from the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. 

A recently widowed housewife, Evelyn (Judie Dench) is trying to deal with her husband’s absence and a huge debt he has left behind. She calls the customer care for some service. Turns out the customer care executive ruthlessly says, “Your husband  is dead. ” and Evelyn’s heart sinks over those words that just fell on her ears.

Weeks later when she joins a call centre as a language and vocal skills tutor, she explains bits of politeness that could make a difference for call centre executives. She says something like, “With this, be cautious and try to understand what situation the other person is into, instead of being innocently blunt enough to say things that shatters the person on the other side to pieces.”

This says it all!

It’s not just about solving complaints. Nobody would eat you up if you have no solution to offer, but at least don’t show that absolutely unnecessary arrogance and rudeness. “Saying No, Nicely!” is an art: learn it!

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One thought on “Customer Services Cell – A Bit Polite Please!

  1. That was really bad experience. I hate it when people make you run around in circles and esp when on top of that they are rude as well. Customer service have to be courteous, period. Besides maintaining up-to-date details on websites will avoid so much hassle. Lack of professionalism is too bad.

    Like

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