The Death of Customer Service
When I posted Machinehead a while back, I admitted that part of my original inspiration was the decline of face-to-face customer service. It was satirical in nature, and taken to the extreme.
Yesterday, with my phone, is what I consider further proof that we are too quickly going towards exactly what I illustrated.
I am already darkly amused that it costs service fees to actually interact with a human to accomplish things rather than use a machine at many banks. This is a trend that is apparently spreading to other areas as well.
Many companies now not only have automated phone services, but have online services for greater convenience. Most phone customer service is completely automated, and you usually have have to specifically ask to talk to someone. Online interaction is completely automated.
I dare say that this means 95% of customer service reps only hear bitching. If everything works out fine, then I have no reason to press “0” and talk to them.
The few times I have recently talked to an actual customer service rep, it has hardly been helpful. They nearly sound like robots themselves – trite and rehearsed greetings, repeating themselves over and over because they have a script in front of them of exactly how to answer questions and have no idea how to deviate from it. (Yes, I have worked in customer service before, so I know they have scripts. Hell, I have written those scripts before. But for God’s sake – add some personality!)
When I got home last night, my phone was still broken. <sigh> My mom explained that the reps in the Sprint store barely talked to her – they gave her a card with some insurance information and told her to call or go online to replace my phone.
So, after the in store reps sell me a $300-400 phone, their job is apparently done? Oh yah, accessories – which they are hardly helpful with.
What is the use of a store front if they shoo me away?
So instead, I filed my claim through their website – completely automated. I will admit, automated is all well and good. It is quick and convenient – which companies these days usually charge a hefty fee for too.
In fact, if I had known they would shoo Mom, I would have just done exactly that first thing yesterday morning. But silly me, I thought the store front would be quicker and more convenient.
Do you have another example of the decline of face-to-face customer service? Do you think customer service is a thing of the past?