Have you ever had a bad customer service experience? Of course you have! Who hasnít these days? In todayís corporate environment profits are frequently the only motivation for most companies. Honoring promises made to customers, ensuring customer satisfaction, or even treating customers as human beings is rarely a factor in the consumer experience.
I recently signed on with Rogers, a communications company. I based my purchase decision on a promotion they offered only to find that the promotion had not been honored when I received the substantially higher bill a month later. So, I called the company and spoke to Bradley, a ďcustomer service manager,Ē who assaulted me with apathy after making me wait on hold and on the call for an hour and a half. ďI am not prepared to do anything for you to resolve the situationĒ he indicated over and over again.† I was appalled and disgusted that this corporate giant felt it was their right to promise the world, deliver so little, and charge me substantially more than I agreed to for the ďprivilegeĒ of being their customer.
At first I was outraged, and then I started thinking that perhaps itís time that we, the collective consumers, take a stand against horrible customer service by expecting nothing less than what the companies agreed to when we purchased from them. So begins my quest for a better customer service experience and to actually be treated like a human being not only while making a purchase, but also if the product or service fails to deliver on the promise.
So, Iím asking you to join me in my quest for better customer service, in a mission Iíll call Occupy Customer Service. Iím not suggesting that you engage in rage or other less-than-productive behaviors, but rather to stand up to companies and hold them accountable to their promises, their guarantees, and their claims about their products or services. If we all stop accepting poor treatment and lousy service, perhaps eventually companies will realize that we, the customers are their greatest asset.† Perhaps there will be a return to the wacky notion that happy customers beget more happy customers. Perhaps treating customers with respect, honesty, and dignity will even become a trend?† Perhaps weíll even return to the ideal of treating others as we wish to be treated? Outlandish!
So, how do we occupy customer service? Keep reading to learn 10 ways…
1. Post a petition for better customer service here on Care2.com;
2. Call customer service lines or visit the company directly and donít back down when the company wonít deliver;
3. Stop supporting companies with which youíve had bad experiences;
4. Write to the corporate offices about your lousy customer experiences and letting them know what your expectations are for the future if they want you back;
5. Write letters to the local media about terrible customer service experiences;
6. Write to the Better Business Bureau and government departments dealing with fair business practices to let them know about failed products or false claims. Who knows, the company may even be breaking the law;
7. Tell everyone you can about your experience.† In this day of social media, thatís powerful stuff (be sure to check my Facebook page on this topic — Iím at Facebook.com/drmichellecook);
8. Boycott the corporation and be sure to find out who their subsidiaries are and boycott them as well;
9. Call or write the president of the company. You probably wonít get a response but if enough people share their concerns, they may eventually take notice; and
10. Best of all, acknowledge great customer service through compliments, kindness, tips, or letters of appreciation. Sometimes dealing with customers can be a difficult job. Letís face it: sometimes customers get cranky too. By reinforcing positive behaviors, we encourage more of them in the dealings we have with others.
If you have more ideas on how to have your voice heard, please post them below.
Find out more ways to improve your emotional, social, and physical well-being in my free e-newsletter: World’s Healthiest News.