It continually baffles me how low some people's service standards are though they are in the service industry.
Marketing dresses up the product benefits on TV advertisements, print ads, mobile phone ads to capture out attention and our wallets, often with the promise of superior 'service' compared to competitors. Sadly, we believe that talk and are romanced into a business relationship that will turn sour all too quickly.
While our world is increasingly becoming more connected through our wireless devices (by 2020 70% of all humans will own a smart phone), and our work depends on such connectivity both at work AND at home (we all respond to emails after hours let's be honest), internet service providers appear to think slow response times for service is not a problem.
Case in point: A friend recently moved into a new apartment and wanted to set up her internet and tv service. She's away for the next week after moving in, so she wants to get the process started to when she comes back it will only be a short (aka. a few days) wait until she gets connected to the world. So the procedure for this service provider is to call her, get her information and set up a time for setup. Hereby I present several issues:
- My friend is away during the next week and thought she has submitted initial information, the technicians will still knowingly call her and get her voicemail AFTER we told them she is away for the next week.
- Failing to get a hold of her, they will not email her even though they have her email on file to obtain the information required to get the account opened. Meaning she will have to wait until she returns on September 10th to call in with her information to open an account.
- When asked whether we can request setup to be on her day off (because we don't have enough days off nowadays to sit around waiting for a technician to show up between 9am - 5pm sometime), we were told that it's back to school season so it's unlikely the setup will be arranged in time for the requested date. At this point it almost becomes comical that this company can still be referred to as a 'service' business.
Here are several ways this company can and should make the on-boarding process easier for their prospective customers. Think about it - there aren't even signed on as a customer yet and you are already making things difficult - this is why there should be no monopolies in the services business.
- If you ask for their email, provide a way for them to sign up for an account via email and/or an online form.
- Allow for them to view open dates for setup service using an online calendar so they can book themselves in (less work for you AND less hassle for them - it's a definite win-win).
While the above appear to be extremely easy ways to rectify the customer service problem to create a smoother sign up process, I'm not sure why this hasn't been implemented given this is an age-old problem people still complain about. They say don't fix it if it ain't broke, we're saying it's already broken and in dire need of fixing before people are irritated enough to set in motion protests for more competition.
Lobbying the government to keep competition out so you can retain low service standards and premium prices definitely is NOT the correct route to becoming an outstanding business. It's sad to see that this is the current state of our economy.
Does this remind you of past experiences where you have been offered sub-par services?