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According to a recent Forrester research, customers want companies to value their time: 71% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do for good service.
                            
Having just spent 41 minutes on phone due to an issue with my internet service provider, I could not agree more. While listening to the waiting music, I had plenty of time to think how come they care so little about their customers’ time. “What if I spend here all day –does anyone care?” I saw the company as faceless giant who find their customers rather irritating than anything else. As I mentioned, I was on the phone with the company for 41 minutes mostly just waiting but after the call I felt happy and valued….so what happened?

Well, first of all, having successfully passed the “dial 1/dial 2” quiz and having waited for nearly half an hour, I was extremely happy talking to a real human being at the other end. A real person with whom you can actually have a conversation –I was so relieved I could have hugged the contact center rep. When the expectations are low, you can only over-achieve.

Although the beginning was not very promising, it was the contact center agent who actually changed my whole experience to be a positive one,. He listened to what I had to say and informed me that I had called a wrong department (even with my master’s degree I had failed the “dial 1/dial2” quiz after all). I took a deep breath knowing that I was back  at square 1, but then he managed to surprise me. The friendly person told me that he will route the call to the right department, summarize what I had just told him, and pass that info on together with my call so that I don’t have to explain that all again.

The magic words were “I will summarize what you have told me and pass that info on together with the call, so that you don’t have to explain that again”.  He did value my time! He did care! If he didn’t, he could have just given me the new phone number and wished me a good day. The faceless giant company who does not care about their customers had turned into a giant which actually has people who care for their customers and do their best to help. That is what customer service  agents do if they are given the right kind of tools to handle the calls as efficiently as possible and in my case the agent changed the whole experience.

Don’t know if it is the bright sunlight after a long dark winter which made me so happy about this pretty small incident. Anyway, I found myself thinking that somebody in that company had done something to enable the contact center rep to do his job well –so they do care. Obviously, the agent did not write his notes on a post-it but he was able to enter the description of my problem into their system, which in turn was integrated with their communication solution. This integration is great way to help the customer service agents do their job well and it also saves customers’ time -and nerves. The company does value my time after all and who knows, one day it might only take 15 minutes to reach a live agent! Rome wasn’t built in a day and also customer service is being improved step by step.

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  1. Jelena Perfiljeva

    Thank you for sharing. I wish our internet provider (what is it with those companies?) had the same tools in place or at least some people who cared. I had to spend over 30 minutes on the phone with them recently just to switch to a different modem and had to spell out my name, address, etc. and explain the issue first to their automated system, then to two different people (the first rep was clearly clueless). Not a pleasant experience. SAP reps, please contact Time Warner Cable ASAP! 🙂

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    1. Kirsi Tarvainen Post author

      Hi Jelena,

      Thank you for your reply. Sounds like a painful experience for both you and the poor contact center agents. It seems that internet service providers often “inspire” customer service stories like this -and maybe that is one reason why I was so delighted of this positive surprise I experienced. Maybe one day you will be positively surprised by your provider too 🙂

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