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The Customer Turn Around – Get it Done Right the First Time!

The Customer Turn Around – Get it Done Right the First Time!

One sure fire way to turn an upset customer to a previous customer is not to communicate properly with them.  I teach, in my NALP classes, that communication is 80% listening and you need to make sure you are not just listening but comprehending the issue.  We all have “our way” of doing things and it would be such a nice world if all problems fell in to the category where “our way” was always the remedy but that will never be reality. 

I recently had a BAD few days with my cable provider and I was ready to jump ship.  First, my television was not giving the services I was paying for, actually reverting back to the past by asking if I wanted to record on a VHS instead of my DVR!  All my pre-recorded programs had disappeared, I finally had a weekend to relax and catch up and I was not a happy camper.  I called a few times, they sent signals through to the box and each time they did something else went wrong.  When my TV finally started working right, the house phone stopped working!  Each time I called the person was polite but they seemed as if they were going through the motions, reading from a manual and never taking an extra effort to help.  On one of the many calls I decided I was going to cancel my HBO in an effort to cut a little off my bill that was WAY too high and to take something from them (I was a bit mad but limited to what I could do quickly).  If it wasn’t for the woman who I had the pleasure to speak with on that call I’m sure I would have been talking to their competitor on my cell phone (remember…  my landline didn’t work!).  I told her that as well, complaining how they were not only unreliable, they were the most expensive service out there.

“I’m sorry to hear your having all these problems Ms. Daly.  I can understand how frustrated you are.  I’m sure I would feel the, same way but, let me ask you…  have you been happy with (company name) prior to these past few days?”  I was!  “So, if I was able to lower your rate, knowing that we have been reliable for all this time and should be even more reliable after we have undergone these upgrades, would you be willing to remain a customer?”  Wow!  My rate was going down over $40 per month!  “Not only that, Ms. Daly…  with this promotional package that would be saving you money, you would not only keep your HBO but we can give you Starz as well”  Winner, Winner…  Let’s make the switch!  “And by the way…  we can even lock in that rate for 2 years if you agree to a 2 year contract”  RUH  ROH…  not so sure about that!  “I know you’re experiencing problems now but you can cancel that contract within the next 30 days without penalty so why not try it?”  I’m in!  Not only did she save the account, she had me, almost, locked in for 2 years.

“Almost” was because I still did not have phone service and had to be transferred to the phone technicians.  For two more days and a few more calls I kept being told they are working on the problem and that I was not the only one experiencing it although I tried to point out to a few people of the lights on my modem which were not normal.  I just kept getting brushed off with the promise that someone would call when the problem was resolved.  That 30 day cancellation was looking to be in my near future until I found another customer service representative who took the time to listen to me.  She almost went the way of the first few but then stopped, took my cell number in case we got disconnected and asked me if I could hold while she looked in to a few things.  It took about 25 minutes and I almost hung up, feeling forgotten, but thanks to speaker phones and the ability to multi-task I remained on the line.  When she came back  she said she was going to have a signal sent to my modem and, sure enough, my phone service was restored and the lights on the modem looked like they always did.  This could have been fixed days before if someone had just taken the time to listen, to empathize and to take the extra effort.


I spoke to at least eight people during this ordeal yet only 2 of them took steps to resolve the issue accordingly.  Only 25% were, in my opinion, true customer service representatives.  Do issues in your office get handled right the first time?  Are your representatives taking that extra effort?

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