How do you feel about your carrier's customer service?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Calling customer care generally doesn't mean anything good, unless you're just the kind of nice person that gives customer care a ring just to say, "Hey, thanks for sitting on the phones all day and listening to angry people." Come to think of it, maybe I should do that one of these days. Except that will probably only lead to trouble, as calling them to tell them thanks means one angry person is waiting longer in queue, which means the next angry person waits in a longer queue, so on and so forth. Eh, they'll be ok.
The thing about calling customer care, and probably what makes the whole ordeal so annoying, is that when you do call you don't ever speak with a real representative right off the bat. You go through automated prompts, which is understandable - to an extent. But when you have to listen to automated prompts for 5-10 minutes before the system finally deems you confused or angry enough to speak to an actual representative, it's no wonder so many people are irritated when finally speaking to customer care rep.
Consumer Reports recently issued their rankings. To no avail, we find that AT&T's customer service is once again trailing behind the rest, and Verizon Wireless leads the way when it comes to phone companies. Of course, you're not going to get everybody to agree with these ranks seeing as everybody has a different experience, and the only real way to get accurate results is to survey every single person who does business with these companies (which isn't going to happen). So while one person might have an excellent customer service experience with AT&T, another might have a horrible experience with Verizon.
The carrier I use, Sprint, has definitely improved their customer service tactics over the past few years. For a long time Sprint's customer service was just terrible, but once Sprint CEO Dan Hesse came into the picture he turned all of that around and made it a far less painful experience. There's still a lot of automated messages, and I would be lying if I said I never got annoyed trying to find a way to talk to a real person. I have found that if you just keep pressing '0' you can usually get straight to a representative. Or it will tell you that you seem confused and to call back at a later time, which is a gamble I'm willing to take most times if I'm irritated enough to call customer care in the first place.
Companies should be able to take pride in how well their customer service handles things. After all, customer service is the face of the company, and if you don't have good customer service you're not going to have happy customers. When you don't have happy customers, people start talking about your company in a negative light which can't be good for any company. I realize that some automated messages are necessary in order to take less serious inquiries (simply paying a bill, for example) out of the queue lines, but when it comes to technical support or billing issues I feel that it's best to just directly route to a real person. So maybe if companies could make it so in certain understable situations you can talk to a real person sooner rather than later, people might be more satisifed.
How do you feel about your carrier's customer service? Do you generally have a pleasant experience or do you exhaust every option before having to use customer service as a last resort?
Image via Soshable