Reggie Gaskins


 

 

 

 

May I Have Some Customer Service..

PLEASE?

by Kyle Leishear

 

 

It seems like with every new piece of technology that arrives in the store brings with it two things 1) higher anticipation for the next great thing, 2) What to do with my old thing. However, I realized that one thing gets overlooked severely. That one thing is a very simple thing that most others just don’t think about and that is customer service.
When people go out and spend money on a brand new gadget they go into the deal knowing that one day their new toy will fail them. That cell phone won’t make your phone call or that laptop won’t connect to the internet. When that happens you are desperate to get their problem fixed and most often than not that means a call to customer service. A call not many people look forward to.

Long ago, companies took pride in customer service. Handling situations directly with the customer and getting the problem fixed was priority number one. Now , customer service seems to be a tossed aside kind of job, a lonely place where people sit for hours at a time getting yelled at and not really solving many problems.

On average, the wait time to getting the situation completely resolved is 6-8 weeks. Eventually companies get so frustrated and just have you ship the piece of equipment to them and then they “fix” it and send it back to you. That isn’t so bad but sometimes you still don’t get the problem fixed. At which point some companies kind of throw up their hands and say “I don’t know what else to say”.

Some companies these days outsource their customer service to another entity taking you even further away from the manufacturer in which to get it fixed. A lot of times computer companies have their customer service reading from a script to help you diagnose your problem. God forbid you ask them a question as it would throw them off of their script. How is a script going to help you solve a problem? Now I am sure the script does work for certain things, but something is missing.

Apple for example has a buffer between themselves and the customer and they're called “Apple Geniuses”. You take your Apple product to an Apple Store and a person who Apple has deemed a “Genius” takes your equipment and tries to solve the problem. However if it can’t be fixed there they tell you to contact Apple and have them solve the issue.

Then you can run into the dreaded “we no longer support this equipment” responses from customer service. Now while I can understand that a life cycle of technology is quite limited, but one would think they would at least keep some type of support for those don’t want to keep spending thousands of dollars on the next laptop on the market. Some people just like the one they have and want that laptop to keep working.

Now of course you are going to have those who have never ever in their lifetime had a bad experience with customer service. To them I say you are so lucky not to have to deal with the long hold music, the “I will pass this onto my supervisor” only to be hung up upon, or the dreaded “your call is important to us but your wait time is 30 mins, we are experiencing heavy call volume please hold”. That is the worst as you sit there and watch your life tick away on a clock just wanting to get your internet back on, or how to fix a simple problem that after they fix it you are still mad you had to wait all that time.

Customer service is a thankless job and at times when I have to deal with them I try and be as polite as possible for I know that their job is not very fulfilling. However I am not taking shots at the actual customer service people, who at times don’t seem human, instead I am taking shots directly at the companies of the major technologies who provide subpar customer service centers and employ a mindset that makes them feel they can do whatever they wish to the customer and suffer no repercussions. Most of the times they are right, people will suffer and suffer and still line up for the next iPad that comes out or the latest iPhone that comes out and deal with all the same problems all over again; All in a quest to have the latest and greatest piece of technology to show off to their friends.

With every day bringing us some new fantastic advancement in technology whether it be for personal or professional use customer service still seems to be stuck and mired in archaic and medieval times. Hopefully the companies can see this and respond by actually caring about the customers who purchase their equipment and allows them to continue to bring us closer to a future we often see in the movies. Now if you excuse me I have an approximate wait time of 15 minutes with my cable company over why my TV picture froze. I am going to bet they just tell me to reset my cable box, but I just want to make sure they get their monies worth out of me. Until then I shall see you on the brighter side of life and surfing the internet.

 

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