Alas, it’s easy to come across bad customer service in the US. I abhor the automated phone (“Press 1 if you want our address, Press 2 if you want your balance,” etc.) service. I dread calling about problems. When I can, I’ve gone back to writing actual letters to companies. More and more, that’s not even allowed. O, mores! O, tempora!
Today, I called to ask American Express if they’d remove a late charge I incurred because I didn’t get home and see a bill till the day after it was due. Although the service could be better by eliminating the raft of “choices” callers are given and the request for a “security code” which isn’t a password or digits from your social security number so I don’t think I have one so that results in a loop that’s low grade frustrating.
Yet once I got a real live operator the conversation was almost ridiculously positive. Since I was an “outstanding” customer with an “amazing record for paying on time,” they would wipe away the late fee. The operator could not praise me more for my excellence. It was over the top, but it made the call pleasant rather than a fight.
Another satisfying customer service was with Apple’s telephone service. I chose the option to have them call me. There was a bit of a fail there as someone else answered the phone and though I hurried, by the time I got to the phone, the robot operator decided no one was there and didn’t hear me so it hung up. Then I called them back rather than wait 10 minutes.
Apple makes you call them back when they call you, which is somewhat odd. I had to wait for assistance, but Apple gives you a choice of three types of music to listen to as you wait. That’s fairly good. (Though why did you call me, but not have a technician ready?)
The guy who helped me did a stellar job. His communication skills were top notch as he was knowledgeable, patient and sympathetic. We went through some processes with the Disk Utility feature and found out that the El Capitan operating system I’d recently downloaded was corrupted. Before fixing the problem, I had to back up all my files so I had to get a new external hard drive. (My current one had gone kaput.)
Saturday I called Apple back again and the customer service was mediocre. This clerk didn’t have the same communication skills and didn’t listen well so she had me do some of the same time consuming procedures I’d already done. She was reluctant to trust the first guy. She just wound up making a reservation at a Genius Bar where they did fix my computer by uploading El Capitan again. The “Genius” I spoke with today was as good as good as the first Apple employee I spoke with. They all get extensive training, but the second person didn’t take it to heart the same way.
If you communicate clearly, treat me with respect and do what you say you’ll do, you’re well on your way to good customer service.