Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016 | 3 min read
I recently had a jarring experience, and I was hoping you might have some insight. Last week my cell phone began turning off for no reason. Upset, and feeling disconnected from Candy Crush and the world at large, I called the company’s customer help line in hopes that they might, you know, help me.
It turns out they did anything but. They transferred me from representative to representative until I had seemingly spoken with everyone in the company—except somebody who could actually assist me.
Each person I talked to had no idea who I was or why I was calling. What happened to personalized service? More than that, what happened to companies being accountable for their products?
I mean, talk about a poor connection!
I was pretty steamed, of course, so I asked my nephew—a card-carrying Millennial—if he had any ideas for getting in touch with the company. He hammered away on his laptop like a concert pianist, and before long I had a Twitter account.
After live tweeting one of my favorite Judge Judy reruns, I got down to business and sent a tweet to the company’s official feed. I might as well have screamed into the wind. After two hours, the company meekly responded that they were “very sorry” for the “inconvenience.” One thing’s for sure—they are a sorry company!
It doesn’t matter if they send me a lifetime supply of phones and appoint me to the Board, I think I’m done with this company forever. What should I do?
Phoneless in Saratoga Springs Every Day
I feel your pain. My typewriter broke once, and I had to suspend my column for three weeks.
It sounds to me like you got a raw deal. Above all, the company should have treated you with basic respect and sincerity. My sense is that you received neither.
Furthermore, somebody on the phone should have made a good faith effort to fix the problem. Passing the buck is particularly offensive when it’s so blatant.
And if everyone you talked to couldn’t find a solution on their own, they should have thought about who was most qualified to help you—not just kick the can down the road.
When dealing with humongous companies, people can often feel like they’re in a vast echo chamber. This needs to change. A company’s relationship with a customer shouldn’t end the second a credit card is swiped; in fact, that should be when the relationship truly begins.
You, and all paying customers, deserve better. If a company has the resources to advertise during the Super Bowl, then it should be able to provide personalized assistance to anyone who has trouble with one of its products.
You want my advice? Drop this company quicker than one of its phones drops a call. Turn on them just like their phone turned off on you. I think you see where I’m going with this…
After all, the customer is always right—especially when the behavior of a company is dead wrong.
About the Author: Your customer is anyone who interacts with your brand, and they matter!