Jan 122009

How should companies operate when appearing to be an attention payer as well as being an attention getter is crucial for their survival. Not this way. A service that shall remain nameless sent me a notice that I would soon be billed for year’s worth of service I had already paid for. The very lengthy “chat”  recorded   here ensued.  Here are some observations of how not to pretend to pay attention that this expereince reminded me of.

1. The more “agents are protected from actually revealing their identity, the less they seem to be human beings, and the more they are likely to elicit anger. You can hardly feel someone is paying you attention if they are operating in this veiled way, as if they are machines and not persons.

2. These days, a chat box is a silly way to pretend to provide service. Why not use voice and show the agents on live video? That way a more personal relationship could be built. If further contacts were needed the customer could request  who ever gave good service before. If necessary, an appointment could be made.

3. Agents should certainly be authorized to handle reasonable requests, such as sending a confirmatory e-mail and revealing at the very least an identification number. If a company values efficiency, they should value the cusomer’s efforts as well, and should seek to  minimize the attention that must be paid on both ends. My experience is that much attention is often wasted because agents keep saying they are not authorized to do something they reasonably should be able to do. Maybe many customers give up in frustration, but they will also seek to avoid this bad service by choosing other suppliers when they can.

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