Don’t guarantee what you cannot deliver.
By now you probably heard the customer service call from hell that a Comcast customer recently endured. While Comcast apologized, I think most of us can sympathize, empathize and/or identify with the situation. At one time or another we have encountered a company agent who was anything but helpful.
Coincidentally, I was having my own issues with Comcast at the same time the story above hit the national news.
The short story: Comcast promised to complete a repair order and bury a new cable at our residence on July 14. After several phone calls (lots of holds) and social media posts (my Facebook feed and the Comcast site), I eventually got connected with a corporate email address…which finally got the job finished on July 20. Five days late.
The teacher inside me has to pass along some suggestions/questions/lessons:
- Stop over-promising. State what you can do and when you can do it.
- Ditch the script. Please hire people who you can trust to speak without a script. Someone who can think critically, speak clearly, and have a real conversation.
- Stop telling every customer, “I understand.” The third time I heard that I was over it. Especially when nothing has been resolved for days.
- If customers call concerning a shortcoming in your service, why are your company agents hawking other products and services? If you cannot deliver on your current service, there is no reason I want to sign up for more (potentially) bad service.
- When you make an appointment, make an appointment! I was told by one of the many Comcast agents I spoke with that although I had an appointment for July 14, it didn’t really mean July 14. Comcast, the agent told me, considers it has 7-10 days to deliver on that appointment. Say what? Tell that to your boss, your clients or creditors: “Sure, I’ll mark down July 14 for you. But that means I might not complete my obligation until July 24.” Huh?
Video recommendation for the week:
This video pretty much sums it up.
- One customer service agent boldly told me “I guarantee it will be taken care of today.” When I repeated his “guarantee” he said, “Definitely!” It took another three days. Don’t guarantee what you cannot deliver.
- Please define “escalation.” I was told by a number of agents that my ticket was going to be “escalated.” Three days into the ordeal, a supervisor told me she would “re-escalate” the ticket. Glad she “re-escalated” as it only took another 3 days for service delivery!
- Get more supervisors who can make decisions and tell a customer exactly what is what.
- If you can’t handle the volume of calls, then either reduce your business or get more (and better) agents.
- If you tell a paying customer (really, anyone) that “someone will call you later today” please make sure the call is made.
- I found out (from a post to my Facebook feed) that there is a special “Make it Right” phone number to Comcast (that requires a special ID#). Why isn’t the first call to Comcast the “Make it Right” phone call?
I realize operating the behemoth muscle-bound company you have created has to be difficult; and that service is slow at times; and that you cannot always deliver as you promise.
Check out my website (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/programs.html) for programming information as well as details about upcoming webinars (http://www.stevepiscitelli.com/webinars).
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(c) 2014. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.
Go Steve GO! Been there and it is ugly.
Ditto when a student makes a commitment and then doesn’t deliver. Think the Comcast issue is a relevant cautionary tale (and they’ll get that one!)
…and ATT is no better. I have been dealing with them since July 3. Latest problem: We still have no phone service and Internet service at home. Tech just came; but he is not the “right” one to fix the problem. It is systemic with many big corporations/entities. So…I continue to hold them accountable–and demand
the service for which I am paying. May be a reprise blog based on what happens with ATT today. Hope you are well!
Thanks, Jen. They need to come to you for customer service lessons! 🙂