This is a rant and it is directed at all the companies providing telephonic grievance addresal to its customers. This is also directed at the people who ‘listen’ to their customers (a.k.a BPO personnels).
Why? Because clearly they are filled with the noise of all the templated corporate jargon that they are not ‘listening’ and I have not a single piece of evidence for this but I will elucidate only this 1 instance, of which I was a victim, to bring to light, this problem of ‘not being able to listen’.
Here’s what happens:
The phone rings. The customer care executive picks up. The conversation starts. There is a robotic human sitting at the other end, speaking in a monotonous voice which almost sounds like ‘Alex’ from the screen readers which we use on our PCs (no offence, Alex). Names are exchanged as identities. Problems noted. Systems updated. But wait? Are they really listening? I don’t think so. Here’s what happened with me.
I use the services of an upcoming internet services providing company in New Delhi. Recently, I put in a request to cancel my connection after the current month, as I had already pre-paid for this month. I mentioned this clearly to the service personnel. (I’m sure they’ve recorded the conversation). I think I repeated this about 3 times that: this has to be cancelled next month, but, probably the man was on a Facebook chat or Whatsapp conversation with someone and this (my) call had to be just gotten-through and, as a result: my connection was cancelled immediately. Wow!
When I discovered that my connection had been cancelled, I called up the helpline, only to learn that the ‘billing’ department is the one who would take care of this issue. I asked the man to connect me with the billing department. He said that that isn’t possible, but he will put in a mail to them to get back to me within the next 24 hours. Upon repeated requests, he agreed to write to them saying that this ‘problem’ needs a response in the next half an hour. Alas! But, no, nothing happened. It’s been about 24 hours now since I made the last call and no one has gotten back to me. The system has gone to sleep after collecting money from the customers.
Not only is this problem present over the phone, but also in our physical interactions with service providers. Take for example Pizza joints. You sit on the table. Our man comes and bows down with a plastic smile, which he’s been trained to adorn. Takes the order, and says “Sir, your order will be ready in 17 minutes”. Really?? Is that information important for me? What do I do with it? Can you please provide me with a stopwatch to enjoy your gimmick?
Dear Mr. Customer Service Personnel, when you are asking me the question: ‘Is there anything else I can help you with, sir’, I must ask you to stop for a moment and see if you’ve clearly understood the current problem, because THIS is the problem that really needs to be solved. This is the problem that will answer your appraisal itself, not some obligatory feedback squeezed out of a quickly-handled customer. Please ‘listen’ carefully to THIS problem and then think about other things, if you may?
I’m asking just one question: Can we ‘listen’ to each other without this self / system-imposted mind-chatter? If yes, then we can go ahead and build an ecosystem where real ‘service’ is being provided to customers, otherwise it is all just a weekend money making charade.
My humble opinion.Read More