A lesson in customer service

I had an interesting thing happening to me today.

As I had finished a conversation with a customer, she didn’t quite put the phone down straight away and I heard her say to her colleague “IT are fucking useless”.

Well I wasn’t going to let that comment go.

So I emailed the lady and told her I was sorry to hear her last comment after our conversation and that she felt I had failed her and maybe she would like to feed this back to my manager, giving his name, so we can improve the service we provide.

Now, I know why she said that, we have a big issue at work at the moment – the application the whole company relies on for their every day work is failing us – they upgraded it some 4 months ago and ever since then we have been plagued with issues – I kid you not, there isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t get phone calls about it. Our customers have actually been absolutely amazing and patient about it, frankly if it had been me, I wouldn’t have been – imagine the software you have to use every day, constantly crashing, freezing or coming up with error messages, or suddenly stopping you from doing a simple task you absolutely need to do for no reason whatsoever.

And the company being a housing association – providing social housing for poor people, this software is in constant use, and the staff operating it have to deal with really aggressive, tough or desperate people, the last thing they need is to have to tell them “The computer says no”.

I myself am loosing my patience with this issue big time as unfortunately, we, on the first line, have no power whatsoever about it, and it is with another team to sort out. In fact it gets worse, it’s with two other teams, the Applications team, who works closely…ish with the application providers and with the network team, as it runs from Citrix so occasionally the problems are relating to Citrix/the network rather than the application itself – and so sometimes calls bounce from one of the department to the other and no-one wants to take responsibility for it.

Anyway, this lady answered a great email, apologising for her comment and explaining it wasn’t directed at me, but they were all getting **** off with this issue. And I replied I absolutely understood and could I please forward our exchange to my manager so people were aware of how this is affecting staff. She agreed, saying she hoped it would help.

I am so glad I didn’t let that comment go. I really hope it helps shake things up so something is done about this issue once and for all. It’s not fair on our customers to have to deal with it, and it’s not fair on us. Enough already.

I did go and speak to my manager about the whole thing after, trying to find ways to deal with issues relating to the application better – at the moment, we log calls and they disappear in the abyss for a while, to re-appear a day or so later, with the question “Can you check if this is still a problem?” – I am very hopeful my manager and I can find a solution, or at least put the right amount of pressure on the other teams that they actually find a proper solution, rather than firefight constantly.

All because I care about my customers, a hell of a lot. “People at the Heart” is the new company motto, so that gives me carte blanche to care as much as I want 😉

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By newpaz

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