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Monday Rant: Common Problems With Modern Customer Service

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Yesterday I had one doozie of a day.  Started out fine, but after dealing with customer service people all day, I was ready for a drink.  After stewing about my experiences yesterday, I put together a list of what’s wrong with customer service nowadays, that you see in a lot of places.

1.  Knowledge. In two instances yesterday at two seperate wireless stores, the person behind the counter didn’t know how to do something that seems like it would be an essential part of the business.  Both times they had to get the manager, and both times the manager referred me to their 1-800 number.

2. Automated Answering Services. Of course, these have been around a long time, but they keep getting more annoying.  I miss the days of calling up a place and you get a person right away, not a list of a dozen options, none of which fit your problem.

3.  Waiting In Line To Spend A Ton Of Money. This what absolutely drives me nuts.  Usually you could just walk out and go to another store.  Unfortunately there are certain companies that DO have a monopoly and they are the only place you can get that product.  Seems like they don’t care.  I had a manager the other day tell me that someone would be with me in a minute.  30 minutes later, there sat the manager, and I stood there waiting.  She wasn’t doing anything.  She could have helped me.  Here I am about to sign a contract worth THOUSANDS of my dollars, and I am standing in line.

4.  Simple Manners. It’s not just the youth anymore.  Even when I was a teenager working at a department store, there was a stereotype that all teenagers were unfriendly and unhelpful.  I think I surprised a lot of people with my courtesy.  Unfortunately even older workers dont’ do the simple things.  Like, “Thanks for shopping here,”  Or even saying hello.

5.  I Just Want To BuY The Product, Not Marry It. Yesterday at all three places that I went, they all asked for some type of information about me.  I get it, but man what happened to just giving you money, and you giving me what I want and I get on my way.

Instead, they ask for my billing zip code for buying a screwdriver.  Or there’s a problem with the system in front of me.  Or I get three offers for some different type of warranty plan.  Don’t you trust that your product will work in the first place, with the price I just paid?

Ok, that being said, here’s a positive story about yesterday.

I was at Subway yesterday and a very difficult customer was in front of me with her snotty kid.  I mean it was bad, the kid was a brat, and the parent was your typical “let the kid do whatever” parent.  The kid ran around, whined, threw things and made them change her order several times.

I know I couldn’t have kept my cool as well as those sandwich artists did.  I was impressed with them, because I would have probably flew off the handle in the first five minutes.  (It took over 10 minutes for them to get done.)

Hats off to you guys, showing there still is some good customer service people out there.  My sandwich was good too.  :)

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