How to spot when you are getting poor customer service

There is one foolproof method to spot when you are getting terrible  customer service…

You have to give GREAT customer service

I often have to ring a helpdesk  for some assistance, that is so poor that I have to make sure I remember my training from when I used to work in a call centre, so I can ensure that I receive good service.

I do the following to the person on the end of the phone:

  •         Tell them who I am. Give them my name and user ID unprompted right at the beginning so they can call up any screens with my details on, rather than go through a laborious explanation that is interrupted by them asking for my user ID, and then me having to repeat the explanation again once they have the requisite information on their screen.
  •         Active listening & clarifying issues. Repeat back to the helpdesk person what I thought I heard him say or request.

E.g., “So, when you ask ‘did I close the session’, you were asking if I clicked on the Citrix Connection centre icon on my bottom right of the screen, selected Outlook in the pop-up window and then clicked in the same window the button marked ‘terminate’? Is this what you are asking me?”

  •         Up-selling. Ask them at the end of the call if there is anything else I can do, so I don’t go through the inevitable repeat of the issue in a few weeks time and have to call them back again to start the whole sorry process all over again.
  •         Outsourcing. An outsourced helpdesk that has out-sourced customer service to the actual customer to provide, will find it has also outsourced other practices to the customer, including me putting the phone down on the desk and going to make a cup of tea when I am asked to switch my PC off and on again, as my call is really important to them, but not important enough to be spitting feathers over. I’ll switchoffandonagain when I have something to drink thanks.


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