I had the pleasure of presenting at the Customer Service Workshop hosted by Mohawk College’s City School last week. I was asked to speak about how my customer service experience helped me advance in my career. It got me thinking about some of the customer service I have received in the last few months. Sadly, most of it was negative. Here is a brief synopsis of one of them.
My credit card was due for renewal. The new card never arrived in the mail. After four calls and a minimum of 90 minutes wait each time, (once was three hours), a company representative finally agreed it was not going to show up in the mail. He cancelled my card and agreed to courier a new one out to me. It was a Friday so I was left without a credit card until Tuesday or Wednesday of the following week. (This might not be a big deal to others but I am a shopper!)
Once the card arrived it took another couple of days to activate. The automated system was not working and the wait time for a live answer was once again, at least 90 minutes. I finally got it activated and went to my local mall. My first attempt to use it revealed my 200,000 points had not transferred over, even though I was advised it would be automatic. It turns out “automatic” to this company means “in three weeks”.
Frustrating? Absolutely. Did I consider cancelling all together? Yes, but I would have lost my points! I wondered how much of this was Covid related; specifically, due to staff shortages?
The employees were doing what they had been trained to do – there just were not enough of them to do it. There are clearly some system issues as well.
You can have the best employees in the world but if your systems are lacking, outdated and/or overwhelmed, how will they be able to perform to a customer’s satisfaction? There is more to customer service than the person serving you. As leaders we must look at the whole picture because more than ever, today, in our current environment, customer service is a differentiator.