Annoyances: Part III – Customer Service

Once upon a time, I used to be a customer service agent for an online firm (sounds fancier than it is), and I can say that I’m beyond pleased to have switched jobs. People can be so damn annoying about the most ridiculous things.

1. They never read.
Hell, why read a (pretty elaborate) product description, when you can waste money and a customer service person’s time and effort by calling and asking unnecessary questions? My personal favourite: “If I order today, when will I receive the products?”, especially when the delivery times are stated on every freakin’ page of the site. Preferred answer: “Could you please hold on, I’ll check it out for you” and go out for a smoke. Or pee. Or both. And come back 10 minutes later. HA!

2. They never think.
Early morning calls; “I ordered yesterday at 9:00 AM and I didn’t receive my order yet, but you guys advertise with 24 hour delivery when ordered before 8:00 PM” – Yeah, all of a sudden they CAN read. But interpretation is a different story…

3. They never understand.
A couple of our phone calls and e-mails were from people asking at what time their parcels would be delivered. People, it’s common knowledge that PostNL (Dutch postal company) can never give you a specific time frame. So in this case, the preferred answer is: “Could you please hold on, I’ll check it out for you” and go and do whatever, and come back with “Well, it should be there anywhere between 9:00 AM and 9:00 PM. Enjoy your purchase!”

4. They never call when they should.
What do you do when there’s a problem with your order? Exactly, contact the CS of the company you got it from. But there’s another option: Spam every review site you can find by telling everybody said company is shit because there is a problem. That’s gonna get your problem solved for sure. Not.

5. They simply don’t get it.
Or maybe I’m just missing the point here. I was going through the Trustpilot reviews for a company that I planned do order something from. Reviews are key; no matter how great your company is, if you have shitty reviews  you’ll have a hard time. Unfortunately, bad reviews are easier to obtain than good ones, simply because people tend to bitch in public when something’s wrong, while they tend to keep good experiences to themselves. Anyway, back to Trustpilot. Based on the number of “stars” people give your store, you’ll get an average grade between 1-10. This, in itself, is pretty good, were it not that people are stingy with giving out stars. You can give up to 5 stars, and write about your shopping experience at that company. But what I don’t get here, is why in hell people give say 3 or 4 stars, and then write that everything went excellent. Why, people, why? If you’re happy with the company, please just rate them accordingly. Don’t confuse other potential buyers!

6. They lie. A lot.
I can write pages and pages about all the lies I’ve heard back in the day. They vary from “I didn’t receive my order” (well how the hell were you able to sign for it then?), to “I strictly followed the user manual”, to “It was broken when I received it” (right, then why does it look so used?). My favourite, by far, was one guy who returned his product (a hammock) for the third time because it was broken. He didn’t lie about the broken part, but his weight changed three times during our phone conversation. I was like, “wow, you’ve lost 20 pounds in the 10 minutes we’ve been talking, what diet are you on?!” In the end, I decided to offer him a refund because we believed that he was just too heavy for the hammock’s frame (didn’t mention it to him, though!), but that just pissed him off. The end result: my first death threat!

7. They’re really, really cheap.
Maybe it’s because they’re mainly Dutchies, but they always bitch about things being expensive. I’d say, go find it somewhere cheaper and leave it at that, but noooo… They sometimes even put it in the order comments AFTER paying. What the fuck? Why buy it if you don’t like the price in the first place? They also love to bargain. “If I buy two, can I get a discount?” Ehm… How about hell no?

All in all, I have to say it was an interesting job, even with the death threats and all that. Some customers were so awful, that the entire company knew their names. And when that happens, you’re fucked for life. It’s really sad that sometimes, they don’t understand that you really want to help them, but that there’s only so much you can do because you have to follow protocol.

I do have to be entirely honest here, there were great customers too. Customers who had a problem that we solved even beyond their wish. And that’s always been the best part; a thank-you e-mail or phone call or review. I even had two customers whose problem I solved sending me pictures afterwards. One was with the product (a star projector) being used during a play at the church, the other one was a pic of a young boy playing happily with the gift daddy got him and the CS lady fixed. And that’s what you’re doing it for. Making people happy, and giving them a great shopping experience.

I’ve learned a lot from my time there, and being an avid online shopper I’ve encountered a lot of problems myself. I understand the frustration when you’re a customer and everything’s wrong with your order, but I also understand that the other side of the line is trying their best to help you (although I have to admit that there are some CS bastards out there as well). So next time if you have a problem… Please don’t yell at the Customer Service ;) (damn, this is turning into a “customer service awareness”-thing haha)

Anyway… Thanks again for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed!

Love,

ML-X

 

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