A quick true story to paint the picture. Our online fraud investigation team and controller both recently tried to make contact with a specific fraud investigator at a major international bank. We received a message from this individual investigator there about a flagged transaction that occurred on one of their customer’s credit cards.
After several calls to the same number at different times of the day connected with various people in various countries, we connected with a very honest customer service rep. This person told us to keep calling and calling, and at some point, we would get lucky and actually connect to the team that is in-house; true internal employees who could route us to this investigator.
Seriously? Is it really that out of control? I mean we have the guy’s name and telephone number from the message that he left us to call him back! We need to spin the wheel, throw the dart, wait for the stars to align to reach this guy who called us in the first place?
I can understand why customer service and support conversations have increased in difficulty over the past ten years for both customers and company representatives alike. Service providers have all but trained customers to turn the rudeness dial way up with call center employees, mainly because they seemingly posess little to no product, service, or process knowledge at all.
Specifically, customers have been trained to arrive with lower expectations and anticipate the need to get over significant automated and human hurdles before being able to potentially accomplish their goals.
I believe that true customer retraining began with airline companies and telecommunications providers in the early to mid-1990′s. Decreasing quality and reliability combined with relatively high prices created waves of customer service issues and generated a significant increase in customer service call volumes.
Isn’t it interesting that all of the airlines apparently struggle except for a new company whose focus is on providing a quality customer experience? And the poor customers of the tiny long distance telephone service providers who were gobbled up by Bernie Ebbers’ land grab…. I wonder what it was like to call with a question post-acquisition? It’s no wonder the whole thing turned out to be a debacle.
As more and more call centers were created; mass volumes of unskilled workers were hired. Training became less scalable, and the quality of customer interactions quickly decreased. To solve some of the most common issues, telephone systems were setup to automatically route calls to recorded answers and automated information retrieval systems.
At Palo Alto Software our customers generally get right to a real, live human being in the first few rings of the phone, and emails are answered the same day they are received. Most of our customers are surprised by this when they call, email, and chat with us. We do not have complicated phone systems that route you to dead ends or other countries. We are empowered to make decisions that help achieve your objectives. We do business exactly how we look to others to do business with us both professionally and personally.
Our customer care team is full-time, in-house and well-trained. Each individual is highly qualified with deep knowledge of how to achieve our customers’ objectives. This means that you won’t need to be escalated to any other level, you won’t need to speak with a manager to achieve your goals, and you will always be advised with pride, integrity, and thoughtfulness.
Call us, send us an email, join our online chat; let us help you achieve your business objectives. After all, that’s what we’re here for.
Director of Client Services