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Don’t Make Me Angry: Customer Service 101

Some of my beautiful readers, possibly including you, have reported this website coming up with ‘502 Bad Gateway nginx’ errors. Being the tech expert I am *cough* *cough*I googled the error to see if I could fix the problem myself.

Having had my ego crushed when I worked out I might as well have been reading the solution in Hungarian (I know English and a tiny bit of Italian a best) I decided it was best to get some real IT support. Unfortunately Moss from The IT Crowd wasn’t available.

This is where the customer service lesson begins.

Customer Experience 1: Nick*

Nick* answered my query in live help. The obligatory security checks were done (no problem there), I explained that the ‘502 error’ was occurring regularly, that my readers had reported it, I had experienced it and could he please fix whatever the issue was.

Nick* ran a check and reported nothing was wrong.

When I again explained that while it wasn’t happening at the exact moment the error had been appearing regularly, he suggested a couple to actions to take.

Here is where I got really grumpy. I explained that I lacked tech knowledge and didn’t understand what he meant.

Nick* disconnected the conversation.

That’s right.

Ended it without responding.

The customer satisfaction survey popped up. How likely was I to recommend the company? Had the live help experience improved or worsened my view of the company? Any comments?

Let’s just say I was polite but they won’t be confused as to what I thought.

Customer Experience 2: Joe*

Enter Joe* in attempt number two to get assistance from the same company.

I mentioned to Joe that I had been cut off last time and could he please bear with me if I was a bit slow to respond, given my lack of tech understanding. Having explain the error issues again Joe* acknowledged that while the error wasn’t occurring at that moment this was a problem.

He apologised for my having a bad experience. He then explained that unfortunately he couldn’t access the data needed to solve the problem but the next step was to submit a support ticket.

Joe* provided me with the direct link and stayed until I had checked which category to submit as (I wasn’t sure what all the categories meant).

Thanking him I wished Joe* a good day/night as I wasn’t sure where he was based. He said he would have a great day, wished me a great night. I ended the session.

Needless to say Joe* got a lovely review and comment in the customer survey.

Lessons From Nick* and Joe*

1. Don’t use jargon when speaking with clients. If we understood the jargon we wouldn’t be contacting you for assistance.

2. Don’t tell the client there isn’t a problem when they’ve just finished explaining what it is. Ask for further details to clarify. Don’t dismiss their concern.

3. Don’t cut off the conversation before the client understands what you are saying.

4. Do take your time to understand the customer’s challenge.

5. If you can’t fix the issue, that is ok. Just make sure you provide the next option or course of action so the customer can seek further assistance.

6. Enjoy the gratitude of customers when they appreciate your honesty and patience.

It’s not hard to please a customer. Joe asked one more question and spent 30 seconds longer in the session than Nick* but the outcome could not have been more different.

I hope Joe* understood how much I appreciated that little extra effort.

Has lack of customer service made you angry? Would you have gone back to the company again?

Have you provided poor customer service? What did you learn from the experience?

Be sure to share your experiences.


*Names changed.
Pic Sources: 1. Oatzy 2. Jameskm03 3. Bright Autumn Sun 4. Customers Rock

6 Responses to Don’t Make Me Angry: Customer Service 101

  1. I get so aggravated with customer service people (especially insurance). I usually try to be kind because I know the person on the other end is only doing their job and may not make the rules, but MAN. It can be difficult.

    • Hi Sara,
      Welcome to Better Business Better Life! Thank you for your comment!
      I totally agree with what you are saying. It would be such a tough job.
      That said, in the case of Nick I’m pretty sure his actions wouldn’t have been company policy.
      Cheers, Caylie

    • Hi Marissa,
      Yes, I little understanding goes a long way. Time is not so important as long as the communication is clear and progress is being made.
      Thanks for stopping by BBBL. Hope Beautifully Organised is travelling as brilliantly as always.
      Cheers, Caylie

  2. I can totally sympathize with you Caylie. I’ve had my fair share of similar experiences. Luckily, I’ve been running a good streak lately, and have been amazed at the amazing customer service I have been getting, for the most part. But, when you get a bad one, it really does impact your opinion of the business as a whole.

    • Hi Kim,
      I’m pleased to hear you’ve been receiving great customer service. It’s a simple concept and yet people make such a hash of it. We should remind ourselves whether face to face, using the phone or online a smile is infectious.
      Thanks for your comment!
      Cheers, Caylie

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