Terrible Customer Service

Posted on Posted in Customer Service, Debbie Harris

Are you giving terrible customer service and forcing customers to go public with complaints?  The woman in the picture reminds me of me the other day.  It is amazing to me how many companies are simply lacking in good old-fashioned customer service.  Now I know that you are reading this thinking, “so what else is new?” but there is another element to this frustrating phenomenon.  That other element is social media.

I am the first one to acknowledge when a company does something great.  I often ask people for their supervisor’s email so I can send a nice note.  Or, I go to social media and give the company accolades. I enjoy giving positive feedback.

On the other hand, I can be your worst nightmare if you are treating me poorly, not living up to what you claim, sending me crappy products or simply giving me a customer service person who has absolutely NO authority to help me whatsoever.  The other day I actually had a situation where the nice young man trying to assist me could not get a supervisor or manager to get on the phone. They kept telling him they did not want to speak to me (the customer).

When I cannot get results from a phone call (my first choice because it’s private), I go to social media.  I will go to the company’s Facebook page (and in some cases of a local branch, their corporate page).  Time and time again I am astounded at how quickly I get a response via Facebook but I could not resolve the issue after a ton of time on the phone.  What happens when I go to Facebook?  You got that right….the whole world sees my comment and chimes in with their complaints.  An example:  For one year I called, every month, a particular cell phone company to get out of my contract because my calls kept dropping here in Las Vegas.  I got nowhere. When I finally went to Facebook (after a year of trying on the phone), I had all my Early Termination Fees waived within 24 hours.  Does that make any sense to you?

It makes absolutely no sense to me and I strongly encourage all of you who have customer service reps or anyone in your company/restaurant/retail answering the phone to be:

  • Trained in the how to handle an upset customer
  • Given authority to actually solve the issue
  • If the issue is beyond their authority, to have a supervisor who will immediately step in

Do yourself a favor and deal with issues privately.  There is no upside to having a long string of irate and dissatisfied customers express themselves on your Facebook page or any other form of social media.  While I applaud companies for finally responding immediately to social media comments, it is better to attempt to resolve issues privately versus publicly.