If it is true that doctors make the worst patients than one can extrapolate that statement to infer that contact center managers make the worst callers. At least I know that to be true in my life because I am the worst of bad callers. I am the Customer Service Curmudgeon and these are some of my customer service pet peeves.
The IVR from Hell
Recently, I called the curmudgeon daughter’s school of higher education about her pending tuition bill. And, boy did I get an education.
My first call was answered by a nice voice presenting me with nine, yes NINE, options – including where to send my tuition check and how to apply for a student loan. After listening for an option to speak with a specialist (which was option 9), a friendly voice came on and announced that the office was closed. That was 45 seconds of my life I would not get back and frankly after living through the stress created by the IVR from Hell (I will name it … Christine!), I need all the seconds I can get.
Knowing, that I would not be able to speak with a human for another 20 minutes, I called the office again and selected the option on how to apply for a student loan. Christine dutifully presented the steps clearly. I started to write the steps down but could not keep up. That was not a problem because I thought I would be able to just play the message over and over until I had the steps written down. Except -- when Christine finished, she said “Thank You” and hung up. Really! She #$%^ing hung up. At least the demon spawn was polite about it. I had to call three times to get the full process.
Great! I could now speak with a person and rid myself of this IVR (intensely vile rubbish). So, you would think. But NO! Christine thwarted me once again by keeping me on hold for 30 minutes and playing really cheesy jazz fusion (did I mention I really do not like jazz fusion?). She enticed me to stay on by thanking me for my patience and implying that she was just about to connect me to an agent. For 30 minutes I waiting, enchanted by her evil magic. Then, after the sucking out my soul, Christine connected me. Not to an agent, but to a message saying the office was closed. Then she laughed evilly and hung up again.
I thought about trying again but decided to take another route. I sent an email to everyone in the office explaining my situation. I did not get a response.
A college education is expensive. I pay more than $15,000 per year in tuition and housing costs and that does not take into consider the extra “fees” that I have to pay. You think that, being some of the smartest people around, they would figure out that one (or more) of the university’s IVR’s was possessed … I mean … ineffective. It would take less than what I pay each year for a consultant to exercise … I mean … optimize its IVR.
IVRs are useful tools. But, they need care just like any agent. They cannot be just a cost saving device. IVRs must be configured to help both callers and call centers, otherwise, they just frustrate customers. Unfortunately, many IVRs are like Christine – unhelpful, ineffective, and completely evil!
Talking to a black hole
In late August, I recently sought assistance from a large and well-known on-line application store. I needed information on a sales report I receive each month. I opened the company’s “Contact Us” page expecting to see a phone number, or at least a chat link. There was neither. Instead, there was a knowledgebase. A company with revenues larger the 2/3 of the nations in the UN, has enough cash to offer a contact center and not make its customers sludge through a knowledgebase before they can issue a question. I do not mind knowledgebases, I am a KB advocate and given my druthers, I will search a KB before calling a help desk. But, do not MAKE me search a knowledgebase. Give me options.
Surprise, the answer was not in the KB. So, I completed the form and included a screen shot. I receive an automated response saying I would have my answer in no more than three days. Three days? Really. You cannot have enough staff on call to answer in a day? OK, I waited the three days and received no answer. So, I resubmitted the question and again received the autoresponse. And again, I did not hear back. I started submitting my question through the company’s support page every day. I feel they will answer me or I will break their system. It is now the middle is September and I have yet to hear from them. Guess I broke their system.
I hear a lot of CEO’s and CCO’s ask why people complain on social media so much (which I did after the third posting). Now, you know why.
Thank you letting me rant and rave. I feel much better.
This is far from a complete list and as I experiences poor and even stupid customer service, I will be very happy to pass them on.
I cannot do this alone and I would love to hear from you. When you experience customer service that just boils you blood or makes you scratch your head and go “HUH?, send me a note and I will include them in future rants, name optional. Please send them to the Customer Service Curmudgeon at Info@Shenandoah-Analytics.com or post your peeve in a comment below.