Awful Service Or Just An Incapable Service Nincompoop?
Most people would consider that levels of customer service generally range from great to just plain awful. Well on this occasion, my experience could only be described as being, beyond horrendous. I was served by incompetent, inept nincompoops. What should have been a very simple solution to a problem ended up as a multi-week ordeal with no end result. This is a lesson on how not to treat a paying customer.
A couple of years ago, I received a Google Nexus 7 tablet. This was actually a replacement after problems with the first one I bought (more on that later). After a few months of use, I had the same problems as before. The power and volume buttons suddenly stopped working, meaning I couldn’t turn the screen on, making the device useless.
I contacted Google customer services and explained my situation. Instead of being sympathetic and understanding like my first encounter with them, this time the blame was on me. They asked me a series of questions that felt like an interrogation. “Did you get the device wet?”, “Have you dropped the device recently?” I’m not sure if they were trying to label me as a serial destroyer of touchscreen tablets but that’s definitely what it felt like.
After a good 30 minutes on the phone to the agent, I finally got what seemed like a resolution from them. Once again, they would send me a new device and upon receiving it, I would return my old device. Problem solved right? Absolutely not.
2 weeks go by and no parcels have arrived at my door. The tracking number indicates that the courier has yet to receive my item at their depot. The alarm bells start ringing, so I contact Google once again. The agent I speak to is utterly useless. They offered everything from shifting the blame to a third party “Maybe the courier’s tracking software has made a mistake” to excuses “It’s possible that the device wasn’t sent out”. This is where the incompetence reached a new level. I asked if they could resend the device. She responded by telling me that was impossible unless they could locate and account for the one that was previously sent out.
I asked to speak to supervisors and then managers. Eventually after an hour, I get through to the highest ranking support specialist on duty that day. I asked that he check if there was a record of my package being sent. Lo, and behold, there wasn’t. However, this still wasn’t in the end of it. Because they couldn’t locate the physical package there was “nothing” they could do. This blew my mind, he was actually telling me there was no solution.
At this point I decided to cut my losses. I’d wasted hours on the phone and weeks waiting for packages that for all I know could have been lying on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. I asked for, and received, a full refund, but it felt like too little, too late. I have not conducted any business with the company since this whole ordeal. Owing to their lack of compassion and desire to solve a problem, they had lost a loyal customer.
What could they have done better in this case? Pretty much everything. As a customer I never want to be blamed for problems with a defective device. Nor do I want to be left with an unresolved scenario after an internal company problem (the lost package). Whatever issues a company is having, they should never fall back on me, the customer.
Take a good look at your policies. Do they PREVENT the delivery of good or great service as was the case here? Do your customer policies turn your employees into Service Nincompoops? Find and eliminate those that do.
For more on Disney Style Service and small business marketing, check out my free special report “Systematic MAGIC, How to Disnify Any Business”. Vance Morris is a Walt Disney World Resort Management Alumni, having spent 10 years as an executive in the Resorts. He runs the only Disney Service & Direct Response Marketing business on the planet. Here he coaches companies to create Disney Style Service Systems and then monetize them through direct response marketing. He is also the GKIC 2015 Marketer of the Year. He can be reached at www.DeliverServiceNow.comor firstname.lastname@example.org .