Many years ago, if a customer service call was not handled properly by the customer service representative, only the customer and his or her very close friends knew about it (maybe a local town as well if the issue was big enough to put in a local newspaper). But, with the explosion of social media and more and more ways for individuals to reach millions of people at once, training customer service representatives (who have a difficult job as it is) how to properly handle calls is even more important.
Take the recent case involving Comcast. A long time customer called requesting to cancel Comcast’s Internet service because they were moving and had signed up with another provider. After (according to the customer) 10 minutes of non-stop questions about why they were cancelling the service, the customer began recording the customer service representative’s aggressive and demanding questions that were apparently designed to prevent cancellation. Because of the Internet and social media, the call has now gone viral and painted Comcast in a poor light. While Comcast is addressing the issue with a statement, the damage has been done – including customers posting that they hoped that competitors (e.g., Google Fiber) would begin providing services in their areas so they had a choice to move from Comcast.
Any company that focuses on consumers, and especially providing services to consumers, should take note and begin implementing changes and updates to their training, policies and procedures. These changes and updates should address:
- Appropriate additional and revised training of customer service representatives
- Changes in “scripts” or other materials customer service representatives use while talking to customers
- The process of review and follow up of “quality assurance” tapes of customer service calls
- The company’s social media presence and actions
- Ways to keep an ever watchful eye on items posted on the internet to help catch any issues before they become widespread problems