I am normally an understanding fellow, but I am not perfect. I still have my off nights or days when I don’t let the little things pass. It’s just too bad that whenever that off-night does happen, it’s usually triggered by poor customer service. I have to admit that whenever I decide to leave, I decide to completely disappear.
Whenever I stay loyal to a service or a product, I really stay a long time. Heck, I’ve been going to a small pub near my house for almost 8 years now. The same barber has been cutting my hair for almost 10 years already. Clearly, I am not fickle-minded when it comes to settling for a service. So, what kind of behavior drives me away for good?
I won’t list down the reasons why I quit a certain service or stopped patronizing a particular establishment. I do have my stories to tell.
I used to be a mobile subscriber of a popular telco (the precursor of SMART communications). During my first job, my office took care of the bills and I didn’t have to bother with my payments. I just submit my billing to them and they paid for it. As long as those payments were within the prescribed limits set by the company, I was always in the clear. For a long time, I was a satisfied customer –until I had an ironic encounter with CUSTOMER SERVICE.
During the course of my relationship with this old telco, I had to call customer service because I wanted to inform them that I wasn’t receiving my bill on time. What I got was a litany from the service rep about my concern. I neared critical temperature as I sat and listened to what the guy on the other end of the line had to say. What really rubbed off the wrong way was when the rep told me that maybe I put the wrong address. Like, why would I put the wrong address? I received my billing statements before. I just wanted to tell them that I didn’t receive the last two billings – I needed the statements. How is it my fault??!!
End-result? I said to hell with them! I decided to move to GLOBE. I’m still a GLOBE subscriber today. That’s 11 years of effin’ loyalty for you and I even have 2 lines for personal use. I bet their former competitor didn’t even care that I moved because of lousy customer treatment. This is the real reason why I switched carriers. I haven’t bothered to try to go back to my old provider. Who knows? Maybe it’s just the name that changed.
Customer service lesson: Don’t presume and act that you know better than the customer. Don’t even assume that the customer is going to complain if he decides to call you. And why would a customer fuck up his home address for a utility billing statement?
I used to be a fan of a Chinese restaurant called Mann Hann. The last time I ate there was 2008 because a client wanted to eat at their SM Megamall branch. The last time I went to one of their branches before 2008 was 1996 or 1997. Before that, my family was a regular customer of their place in Libis (when it was still around). So, what was their fault that I didn’t go back for 12 years? It was a stupid security guard/ parking attendant at their parking area.
Honestly, this incident was a simple case of lack of parking space during a crowded Sunday when most families go out to have lunch. Looking back, I remember not being able to park right away. A guard then told me that we were next in the queue to park. Knowing that, I decided to take his advice and wait along with my family in the car — we loved the restaurant that much back then. However, as soon as a car backed out of their parking area, another car appeared out of nowhere and just scooted into the slot that I was promised. I reminded the guard that he promised me that spot but he decided not to do anything about the whole incident. Of course, who wouldn’t get mad at a broken promise? I got pissed off and decided to move to a different restaurant. At that point, I felt stupid for waiting for nothing. I decided not to eat at that place ever again. I also included all of their branches. Tit-for-tat. Anyway, it appeared to me that my money wasn’t good enough for them.
In 2008, I finally ate at their Megamall branche because of a client request. In fairness to the Megamall crew back in 2008, I think I’d forgiven their company because of them. However, a vow is a vow.
Customer Service Lesson: Unless you’re in a monopoly, don’t ever think that the customer has no real alternative for your service. Don’t ever think you’re irreplaceable. Don’t assume that your customer is a pushover.
Customer Service Lesson: Don’t ever break a promise. If ever you do break a promise, at least be decent enough to offer a ready explanation.
Customer Service Lesson: If you’re using a third party company to provide part of your services, be sure they are oriented on the proper way to treat your customers.
Last night I decided not to ever go back to Madison Square at Pioneer St. in Mandaluyong City. The reason: a stupid driver and a stupid security guard decided to ruin my evening.
My wife and I were too tired to prepare dinner for the kids at home. After some thought, we decided to just head off to Madison Square, a strip mall with a number of eating places near our home in Pasig City. I guess traffic was bad that evening because the oncoming traffic in the area didn’t want to let me make my turn into the mall. Good thing that the entire experience of parking was easy and dinner went smoothly. However, the whole customer hell for me happened when we were already leaving the place.
I decided to be a pushover at that point and find an inconveniencing solution to get my vehicle out. I also decided not to visit that place ever again. The businesses at Madison Square at Pioneer won’t be getting any of my hard-earned cash ever again. That was just a simple case of traffic management. Now what if I got mugged there? Would that be not his problem, too? According to him, taking care of a customer was not his job.
Customer Service Lesson: Don’t make the guy who just paid (using his own hard-earned pay) for part of your wages/earnings feel that he made a bad decision to visit your place of business. For all you know, the next car coming in could just be there to pick someone up.
Human Behavior Lesson: Owning a newer vehicle does not make you a better driver.
Human Behavior Lesson: I hate people who drive crossovers and act as if they drive a big SUV.
- How to Create a Customer Service Culture (thinkup.waldenu.edu)