Bad, BAD Customer… No soup for you!!!Posted by Luis Serpa on October 6, 2006 - 5:00 PM
“That’s it! I’ve been on hold for the past 45 min! If you don’t transfer me right now, I will…” – CLICK – And after that, all you hear is the dreadful tone of the busy line, indicating that, despite all your threats, you were disconnected – AGAIN!
If you ever suspected the call-center reps to hang-up on you on purpose, or ever felt like being grounded for misbehaving, you are probably right!
Despite the general belief, call-center reps are people too. As humans, they sometimes can’t help but to react in despicable or selfish ways, undoing the very purpose of their work. After a while, it is just natural that a group of such individuals would develop a set of unspoken rules (not necessarily the correct ones, I must say) to shield them against bad or angry customers. So, if you fail to live up to their expectations as a customer, you may as well be immediately judged guilty and banished from receiving assistance.
But DON’T WORRY! Things are changing. In fact, everything I just mentioned may already be in the past.
No… I am not selling any new miraculous call-center training method or a clever “how to reach call-center nirvana” article. I am not even saying that call-center reps are getting more tolerant or predicting that companies’ services are becoming more reliable. Just the opposite! They are becoming more crafty and resourceful. What once were just unspoken guidelines are quickly turning into official company rules with support of up-to-date technology.
According to Liz Pulliam Weston in the article ‘Are you a bad customer?‘:
“Service providers are deciding some of their customers simply aren’t worth the trouble. Aided by massive computer databases (…) they figure out which customers cost them money and shunt them to the back of the line.”
Although I believe it is perfectly fine for a company to reward its premium customers, penalizing the “not so good” ones seems a little overboard. It leaves too much room for mistakes and may put too much power in the wrong hands. In addition, it’s really a bizarre role reversal when a customer is afraid of being blacklisted by the company she pays to provide her a service.
Now, to any company that may be considering doing something like this:
I understand that some customers can be really a nuisance. Some are loud, rude, and even unprofitable. But hey, you were the one doing almost anything to attract them in the first place. And let’s be honest here: you were probably the one that first failed to live up to expectations.
So, don’t give that false pretense that the service will be more efficient and all “deserving” customers will ultimately benefit. If your customers are very good, reward them and they may stay with you for a long while. If your customers are bad or unprofitable, let them go. Maybe the competition will value them more than you did.
However, don’t be surprised if each “unworthy” customer is able to influence others on her way out. Who knows! Maybe those others are even part of your most profitable group.
In fact, don’t listen to anything I am saying here. Just keep “enhancing” your systems and protocols towards customer alienation. In the end, we will see which set of rules hold more weight: yours or the market’s.
I know which option MY money is on…
See original post at Vox Inc.
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