On July 15th, Comcast issued an apology for what they called an embarrassing interaction between a Comcast representative and Mr. Block and Mrs. Belmont. When Mrs. Belmont called to cancel their Comcast service, the representative began aggressively questioning her as to why she would cancel. About ten minutes into the service call, Mrs. Belmont gave the phone to Mr. Block who then recorded the last eight minutes of the conversation.
During the remainder of the call, the representative side stepped around canceling the service, demanded to know why the cancellation had been requested, was condescending and overwhelming, and would not or could not provide a confirmation number for the cancellation.
Definitely not one of customer service’s finest moments. What can be learned here for future calls and for building the quality of customer service? How can this customer service outrage be avoided in the future?
Better Prepare/Train Subcontractors
Businesses can have the best products and intentions, but if they fail to fully train subcontractors to the appropriate standards it can destroy a customer’s experience. Consider the curbside check-in for Southwest Airlines. Believe it or not, those individuals are actually subcontractors. The beauty is that their motivation, training and service make them seem like they are actual employees of Southwest because their actions display the company’s procedures and expectations.
Customer Service over Company Goals
Another mistake made in the Comcast service call was the overly incentivizing of employees. When this occurs, employees forget about the ultimate company goals – making customers happy with their overall experience. Incentives can blind employees to the needs and wishes of customers. This leads to dissatisfied and disrespected customers, which is obviously bad for business.
Hiring is the Place to Start
While managers sometimes drop the ball in the hiring process and the thoroughness of training sometimes fails, making sure that those who are hired are empathetic individuals goes a long way. People who are naturally empathetic are more likely to go out of their way to make that customer happy. If they were not fully trained in an area, they are going to take the time to ask questions in order to fulfill a customer’s request. When a customer is unhappy, they will be patient, knowing that the emotion from the customer comes from frustrating issues they are experiencing. Ultimately, they will ask that good, customer service question: what can I do for you today?
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