If you’ve never had the opportunity to spend hour after frustrating hour with poor customer service then you are one of the lucky ones. When you feel like a beach ball on the customer service roller coaster, then it’s time to rethink what customer service was, is, and should be. Serving customers is the crux of the issue.
Customer service was around before the invention of the telephone, but the telephone made it easier to contact companies when a customer had problems with the purchased product or service. I remember my mom calling many companies with complaints. Like the time I broke my tooth on a piece of plastic that was inside a box of stuffing mix. She called the company to complain about what happened. The company apologized profusely and not only gave my mom a case of their stuffing mix but they also paid for my dental bill. They also do a thorough investigation and found that part of their machine had broken off, it was the plastic part I broke my tooth on.
Today we have customer service centers all across the world. People working from scripts and if the customer’s problem is not one that is listed on their script then the customer’s are either hung up on or told that no one could help them. This happened to me recently in dealing with a telecommunication company. I was hung up on twice. I was talked down to. I was told that I didn’t live where I lived. When I asked to speak with the rep’s supervisor I was put on hold for 15 minutes and then they dropped my call. That’s not what customer service is about.
Customer service should be serving the customer in the best way possible the first time. Customers who are having a problem with the company’s service or product don’t need to be tossed around like a beach ball from department to department only to be told, “Oh, I’m sorry we can’t help you!” “You need to speak to a different department!” “You don’t have an account with us!”
After having repeated issues with the telecommunication company I’ve been dealing with, a friend told me that to get better service from the company I would have to place my complaint on their public Facebook page. After doing so, I could not believe how quickly my concerns were met with answers. I also could not understand why this company could not perform the task of great customer service before having to resort to this type of public complaint.
How does this tie into my wellness? The frustrations of dealing with poor customer service raised my blood pressure, gave me a headache, gave me nausea, and so much anxiety that I thought I was going to break something. It’s extremely difficult to remain calm when you spend 90 minutes on a call and you are transferred to 10 different departments when the last person you talk to gives you another number you must call first thing Monday morning because that department is closed. Over the weekend I put the matter out of my mind. Come Monday morning, I make the call at 8:00 am, only to become that beach ball again and get transferred around and around. With all that bouncing, I again felt my blood pressure rising and my anxiousness start to get the better of me.
Throughout my ordeal as the beach ball on the customer service roller coaster, I began wondering how many people have heart attacks caused by poor customer service. How many people become extremely anxious and have breakdowns because of poor customer service?
Poor customer service hurts more than just a company’s reputation it hurts our health.