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Is TOO MUCH Customer Service a good thing?

    • 28 posts
    February 12, 2007 8:19 AM EST

    Now I admit, it makes me sick when I experience bad customer service.  Ever since majoring in public relations in college, and really even before that time, I have been a stickler for good grammar and at the very least, halfway-decent communication from those that I do business with.  In school, they sort of shoved the whole "communication" thing down my throat, which I have come to appreciate in a world of bad communicators.  I even work in the field of communications, and you wouldn`t believe the lack of communication that goes on within these companies. 

    Anyway, getting to my point....has anyone ever experienced customer service that was just way over the top and extremely annoying?

    My husband and I just finished putting a sunroom on our house that we had a HORRIBLE experience with.  We were told from when we signed on the dotted line that "we will be able to enjoy our sunroom practically immediately after the 3-4 days it will take to get the room put up, way before winter".  Well, we signed on the dotted line in July, and it is now February and we just were just able to put carpeting in this room two weeks ago.  We dealt with leaks from the roof, leaks from the windows and leaks coming from we didn`t-know-where.  Thank goodness Winter came late to Michigan this year! After months and months of having no specific point-of-contact at this company, a new contact, Bill fell out of the sky and in our laps.  Bill, our "project coordinator" Bill didn`t really show up on this project until the problems were mounting. In each discussion, he "assured" us over-and-over that the problems would be taken care of, and a few times, swore on his own life!  Bill was the best thing that happened to us in this situation, because we were very near finding a lawyer to help us out of our mess, since we were getting zero customer service from this company, until Bill.  He was great, and we finally had someone at the company who cared, but he also had way too much customer service training and used too much "lingo" that came across as too much to both of us. Although he could be really annoying,  I did like the fact that he over-communicated.  That is something I would favor, vs. lack of communication, in any circumstance, even if it is coordinating a family get-together! On a brighter note, we haven`t had any problems thus far with our room (knock on vinyl siding!) and we are looking forward to using it soon, once winter leaves Michigan!  Not once did we hear from anyone higher than Bill in this company, even to thank us for the business we gave to them.  Just one of my many experiences in this area. 

     

    • 28 posts
    February 12, 2007 9:34 AM EST

    I just want to know how to get the car dealership that I leased my car from to stop calling me reminding me (at the wrong time) when my oil change is due, using an automated message?!?  We have tried to call and ask the dealership to stop sending us the automated messages, but no one at the dealership (even our sales guy) wants to take responsibility for taking us off of the call list!

    I also just took my car to a different dealer which is closer to my house and DaimlerChrysler will not stop calling me to take a survey on my entire experience, which was a tire rotation! They have called every day for the past week.  Hopefully they will realize that I do know it`s them off of my caller ID, and they will leave me alone. They even call after we have brought the car in for an oil change, which I think is overkill.  It would be fine for them to randomly call a group of people each day, but not everyone.  That is too much.

    I wish that there was a nice balance when it comes to that, but as we all know, Chrysler has had their problems in the past with quality, so they go overboard with getting their customer`s opinions on EVERYTHING!  Crazy.

    • 28 posts
    February 13, 2007 3:18 AM EST

    Great idea!  If I ever get around to it, I may just shoot a message over to them in writing.  But now that you say that, I did, a long time ago, write a letter to the owner of my dealership that I buy by vehicles from, because I had a very bad experience with their body shop after I was in a very minor accident.  I cc`d the director of Chrysler`s 5-Star program, so they were aware of my bad experience (this is the largest Jeep dealership in Michigan) and THEY responded and followed up, but the owner of the dealer, who the letter was addressed to, didn`t even send me a note back to apologize for my experience (my letter was rather detailed and lengthy).  Having grown up in the Detroit area and having dealt with automotive dealers from a business perspective over the years, most tend to be very old school (I`m sure one will come out of the woodwork here and dispute that!) and they really only know the "shove the sale down their throats" approach and don`t know the first thing about customer service.

    I guess when I feel that when I have truly had a bad experience, I do tend to write letters all the way to the top of the company.  This all started when my Atari broke when I was a kid.  My dad couldn`t believe that a young kid would sit down and write a letter to the President of Atari, and I did.  That must be where that comes from with me.  And, I got a response, and got my Atari fixed at no charge!

    • 28 posts
    February 14, 2007 5:51 AM EST

    Nuevolution,

    I don`t want to come across as a chronic complainer.  I am not.  I am just relating examples that, in my lifetime, have happened to me from a customer service perspective that didn`t go the way they should have.  For the most part, I have had EXCELLENT customer service from most everyone that I have ever done business with.   I assume that if you had a room, like ours, that leaked from every angle and had puddles on the floor in the middle of, luckily, a mild winter, in a room that you paid a lot of money for, you would be mad as heck, as I was at the situation.  My husband, who is a very mild mannered person, like you seem to be, got just as annoyed as I did with the whole situation. Remember, we agreed to having this room built in July, 2006.  Our vinyl, pre-fabricated room was finished and livable (we hope!) in January, 2007.  We would have been better off just putting an addition on our house, rather than having this room put up.  And yes, I have dealt with contractors before, so don`t even bother going there with the discussion.

    Let me stress that I don`t expect the world, but I do expect at least a smidge of customer service with whom I spend my money as a consumer...that`s my point of view...

    And I am very happy that you are able to live your life with nothing bothering you.  I wish I could go through life that way, but there are just some instances when action is needed. 

    • 28 posts
    February 14, 2007 8:37 AM EST
    Yep, I have done that too with contracts.   It does work!
    • 731 posts
    February 13, 2007 10:23 PM EST
    BarbR,
    I don`t think too Much Customer Service is a bad thing. Although, you may think it`s annoying you have to understand they are just doing their job.
    I wish Volkswagen Called me to tell me it was time to bring my wifes car in for an Oil Change or Tire Rotation.
    All I get is a payment stub once every month.

    BarbR, I think you are the type that over reacts to the small details in life. I mean if you sat down as a kid and wrote to the President of Atari, if I were your dad I would have taught you to stop being annoying....and that there are better things in life than to worry about a courtesy call or a video game.
    In simple english.... Dont waste your time, move on and enjoy life to the fullest. We only live once...
    Now as for your Home addition with the leaks... They might have gotten fed up with your complaining... Thats why I always keep my calm and I just let things be... Nothing bothers me, no one bothers me... Just my point of view...
    Smile...

    ---
    Edgar Monroy
    Web Developer / Owner / Consultant
    When starting your own business the need to "know-how" is greater than money!
    http://www.nuevolution.net

    • 731 posts
    February 14, 2007 8:26 AM EST

    BarbR,
    For most of the part I don`t let anything bother me for the simple fact that I have a bad temper, so instead of trying to fight the whole world and waking up with boxing gloves on, at the age of 24 i decided to let things be, and not let my temper get in the way of me enjoying life.

    I understand how you must feel about dishing out some serious cash, and the company no delivering what they promised. I would be pissed off too.. I wouldn`t of threaten to sue or shut down the company... I would have done it and get a full refund of my money back.

    Which is why, you should always watch out when you sign a contract. Remember companys write their contract to protect them not you. So you don`t have to agree to everything that is in a contract.
    I`ve had my shares of signing on the dotted line and have actually crossed out some of their stuff on the contract and initialed by it.. and when they ask me why? I tell them... I don`t agree with that and if they want my business is has to be on mutual grounds.
    IT WORKS

    ---
    Edgar Monroy
    Web Developer / Owner / Consultant
    When starting your own business the need to "know-how" is greater than money!
    http://www.nuevolution.net

    • 731 posts
    February 14, 2007 9:17 AM EST
    Of course it does.
    At least it shows them that you know what you are doing. Lots of people are under the impression that in order to do business with them you have to abide by their policies. When in fact its wrong it has to be on a mutual agreement. If you don`t like something, why get forced into their policy. They need the sale and you need their service. So they have to budge.

    But as far as customer service is concerned, Tooo much is never enough it just means that you will be in business for a long time. This topic should have been.. When a business doesn`t deliver what they promised.

    ---
    Edgar Monroy
    Web Developer / Owner / Consultant
    When starting your own business the need to "know-how" is greater than money!
    http://www.nuevolution.net

    • 2 posts
    February 20, 2007 1:17 PM EST

    I have just gone through this thread, and am a bit confused.

    Barb is annoyed by what she terms "over the top" customer service (CS), but wants that over no CS at all.... so annoying service is actually good?

    CraigL is correct in saying that most of what is being discussed here is not really CS. True CS lies with resolving problems, e.g. I want to purchase a product; I need to have something fixed; I need more information; etc. Of course, the CS rep is also instructed to upsell, but that is a sales function, not a true CS function. Many times, those two functions are confused for one another.

    Bill solved Barb`s problem. That is the heart of CS. We complain that companies don`t meet our needs yet we can`t be bothered to communicate what those needs are. Add to that the fact that many CSRs are minimally paid, inadequately trained people doing the best they can - the "lingo" is right out of the manuals from which they get most of their answers and procedures.... translating that into language that is "dummied down" for the masses is not part of the training (an oversimplification.... perhaps).

    The challenge for CS is the need to meet the needs of a broad base - having, in many cases, to cater to the least common denominator. For every person who is able to keep track of their oil change dates, ten will need reminders. With my company, we have given the customer the choice of whether or not to receive such notifications. Even this sparks issues, as people are "too busy to be bothered" to even check a box.... but that is another topic altogether!

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