This is a little story about not-so-great customer service. A friend of mine recently had a bad customer service experience with a cable company. Because I am a good friend, I stood there and listened to her complain for about half an hour.
Basically, they changed her promotional plan without notifying her. No email, phone call, letter––even a text would have worked. Nothing. They charged her double the price without checking if she wished to continue with the new pricing for her plan. My friend called and, realizing she wouldn’t win the battle of keeping the current pricing, agreed to pay more than she used to (and let the cable company know she was not happy about this). To make the situation worse, in the course of the next three days, she ended up spending almost four hours on the phone with various customer representatives because her new bill never displayed correctly when she tried logging in to pay. They ended up overcharging her, and when my friend called in––again––to try to fix the situation, she realized her account was set up for Auto Pay. The company had saved my friend’s credit card information without her permission and charged her automatically. Realizing that she has been charged twice and then having to check all the statements for the credit cards she used to pay cable bills––as if her life isn’t complicated enough––made her furious.
She called, complained, said she was going to switch service providers. And what did the cable company do? Well, yes, they said they were sorry. But in this case was this enough? I personally think they should have had done a little more, especially after her threat to switch providers. I understand the customer might not always be right, but in this case one little incentive could have made my friend happy. Switching cable companies might not be thrilling, but if you are angry and disappointed with customer service, you are bound to leave. Of course, you might say things like “I don’t want to do business with you any longer,” but deep inside you truly hope they will offer you something––beg you to stay––because you are a valuable customer. Just like in a relationship. Sometimes you get angry and say that you no longer want to be with that person, but you hope to be chased. You want to feel important. Customers like to feel good about themselves.
Show that you care, apologize, and give customers a reason to hold onto you. And they will. “I am sorry” is not always enough. At least it wasn’t in this case. What do you think?
Author: Marina Kaljaj