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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Help a School Girl Out?

I’m taking a Customer Service/Service Desk class this semester. There have been a lot of group projects, which is a problem. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy group projects and I’ve often done well on them. When I was fresh out of high school and in community college, my money fit better with community college than a university, group –projects were often me doing a lot of the work. That was partially because I was young and not experienced with taking a leadership role and delegating, but it was also part because many of the community college students, that were my age at the time, weren’t as much serious about their studies as they were not serious about the working world. Serious 18-year-old students were in a 4-year college. Yes, this is something Rina and Tori have heard about often. Still, I enjoyed the group projects, even if it was 2 or 3 classmates taking credit for work I did most of, we all got an A!

When I returned to finish my degree as an adult, in an accelerated program with a lot of other adults too, group projects and discussions got even better. I often ended up the group leader by election because I had some management experience by then and knew how to assess the strong points of the group members and delegate. We still got As, but the results were much better!

Now, I have group projects again only this time, it’s an online class! I posted on our class message board, inquiring how we were supposed to do the group projects, expecting to be told to do it via chat or email. We were instructed to work with friends and family! Eek!

It’s not all bad, really. I’ve learned in past jobs and various seminars that the best way to learn something new is to teach it to someone else. If you can explain a new concept in a way that someone who is unfamiliar with it can understand, then you truly have learned it. Fortunately, this is not the brain surgery class!

So, I’m asking anyone that has a couple of minutes that they can spare to be part of my group, if you could give your opinion on one or both topics, I’d really appreciate it!

Project 1

Discuss experiences using technology for help.

By technologies, I mean, a time when you’ve called a help desk or customer service and used a phone menu to route your call, filled out a web form to request assistance with a question, used a Company’s website for information (hyperlinks, FAQs etc.) or an instant message or chat with a service rep.

Choose one instance and tell me about it.

How do you feel about interacting with support technology either before or instead of speaking with an actual person?

Were there any positive things you recall from the experience?

Were there negatives from the experience?

Project 2

Situations that cause frustration or anger.

Here are some situations that can cause frustration or anger for customers that were discussed in this week’s reading: waiting a long time on hold, continued problems that resurface when they have already been fixed, perceive their complaint is not being taken seriously or that the service rep isn’t listening, a helplink on the company’s site is broken, a long wait to get into a help chat room, forms that don’t include the problem you’re having as a choice when you must check a button or box, forms that don’t give adequate space to describe a problem

What other situations have caused you frustration with customer service/help desk reps?

What are the top five situations that cause frustration for you as a customer?

What could a company do to make your number one frustration easier to deal with?

Thanks to everyone who can lend a helping hand on this!


seamhead gypsy said...

Project 1 for now. I need to think a little for project 2, though I have something in mind.

I have directv. Calling their customer service line to change programming is like getting a straight answer from a political candidate. It's a painful experience. Back in the spring I switched to MLB.tv over DTV's extra innings. I have an apple tv and an iPad and I felt I could watch the games that way and save some cash. After spending a half hour on their website I realized my only option to prevent the extra innings auto re-enroll was to phone them. When you phone them you, get to talk to an automated voice. Now she's polite and all but she's pretty dumb. I "told her" that I wanted to cancel extra innings every way I could possibly think of and she could never understand what I wanted her to do. I finally resorted to punching the zero button on my phone about 19 times. Only then did she allow me to talk to a real person. I consider myself pretty tech savvy but for the life of me I can not get those auto voices to understand what I want done. When a company uses them I get the feeling that they really don't care what I want, about providing quality customer service, and could care less if they resolve my issue or even retain me as a customer. This week a rep from a financial service I subscribe to phoned me to remind me about my upcoming subscriptions expiring. We had a nice non pressured sales chat about product offerings and available options. I was so impressed with the one on one attention that I renewed and upgraded for 14 more months. Technology can and should be used in customer service, but used behind the scenes and not on the front lines dealing one on one with customers.

Edna B said...

In response to Project 1, let me say that I am not a great fan of dealing with technology versus human when I need help. However, let me tell you about my best experience. It was the instant chat with a technician while ordering from Petco.

I had tried to do the ordering on line by myself, but I had so many questions that I finally agreed to do the instant chat with a rep.

This proved to be quite helpful. I could ask my questions and get answers right away. This made it so much easier to make the right purchase.

I was trying to order the doggie carry on that would fit on the plane under the seat in front of me. All the ads say that the product fits, but that is not true. ( so I find out the hard way)

The rep was able to get the correct measurements and information that I needed. This was not possisble with the online purchase order. It gave only enough generic information to get you to buy the product.

I feel that having the instant chat before purchasing is so much better and almost as good as actually talking to the rep over the phone.

I hope this helps. I'll be back later with Project 2.
Hugs, Edna B.