Some businesses don’t understand customer service. Several recent episodes nearly sent me over the edge so I am trying some constructive ways to find answers for myself and you.
These experiences seem to focus on middle management and its lack of empowerment or ability to listen. Normally what happens is that after two or three conversations trying to resolve the issue, I lose my cool because the middle manager is too focused on beating me into submission, not facts.
Take the most recent example which has to do with a past due bill I refused to pay because my health insurance company indicated it was a pre-existing condition. To make a long story short, I was able to prove that it was not a pre-existing condition and it is covered by my plan. This took me 12 phone calls with six different individuals and too many minutes on hold.
Then there was the bank threatening to send me to collections for an account that was closed because they didn’t close it and was trying to collect an inactivity fee of $30. Or the restaurant charging me because I called to let them know my wife was ill and we would not be able to make it. They informed me of a 48-hour notice rule —c’mon. What happened to the customer is always right?
At the end of the day, management has to be empowered to make decisions that are in the best interest of the company, trained how to listen naively, and be able to think on their feet. Customer service issues should not be elevated to senior management.
This disservice causes me to take my business elsewhere. My experience will be conveyed to hundreds—all for a $230 covered health procedure, a $30 inactivity fee and a call to a restaurant to let them know I was sick.
Dan Lindblade, CAE