Customer Service Frustrations 9-10

Today I’m going to cover frustrations number 9 and 10 and finish up the mini-series on the top 10 customer service frustrations. The whole thing is explained here.

Frustration 9: Company’s computers are often down.
As I customer, I think this has to be one of the most frustrating things that could happen during a customer service experience. The excuse that the company’s computers are down is probably the worst excuse a company can come up with and an ultimate customer service failure. This is not a business operations blog and that field is not really my specialty, but I’ll try to give some suggestions:

  • Have operating procedures. Seeing a theme here? Companies need operating procedures. In case the computers go down, have a backup plan. Have agents take notes on paper and input the notes in the computer once the system is back.
  • Have backups. Your call center should already have a redundant system in place in case the Internet goes down or the call logging program breaks. Have lots of redundant systems that can address problems in case things go wrong.
  • Don’t depend entirely on web-based systems. Unless your office has multiple, redundant internet connections, do not depend entirely on web-based systems (helpdesks, customer databases, etc.) or route your network utilities through the Internet. If you do use a web-based ticket system or customer database, at least make a daily backup that can be accessed by all agents in case the Internet goes down.
  • Get better computers. Get better stuff if you notice things are going down a lot. Does your network go down a lot? Get a better IT guy and/or a better network. Does your helpdesk break a lot? Get a new one.
  • Have guarantees. Get guarantees from providers (i. e. internet service providers, web-based application makers) for uptime and reliability. That way, if the systems do go down, at least you don’t have to pay that much and you can tell the customers “We have a 100% uptime guarantee with this company and they broke it.” It usually isn’t a good idea to pass the blame on, but in this case, it works and doesn’t cost the customer any extra time or money.

Frustration 10: Company asks for too much personal information.
I know I have covered this before. In fact, it was covered here. That post explains everything you need to know about asking for and verifying personal information.

Conclusion:
See, solving customer service’s top 10 frustrations isn’t as hard it seems? If each company invested some time, money, and effort into improving their customer service operations, they would notice a big difference. When customers are unhappy, it will cost a company money, so why shouldn’t companies invest in making customers happy?

If you have a common customer service frustration that I haven’t covered, feel free to let me know what it is by posting in the comments. I’ll post my thoughts on it and how companies can (try to) avoid it.