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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Have you ever contacted customer support and felt like the rep was more focused on closing your ticket than solving your problem?

I have, and it was an incredibly frustrating experience that ultimately caused me to ditch the provider.

My experience, which was with a hosted VoIP company, was repeated on multiple calls over six months, and it told me everything I needed to know about the company.

First, it told me that their reps were inconsistently trained and in many cases inexperienced. It was obvious on many calls that the engineer was following a script and figuring things out as they went. It’s clearly not reasonable to expect everyone to always know every answer, but I found it annoying and, after 45 minutes on the phone, offensive, that I was being forced to observe their learning! Especially since I was calling in about the same problem each time.

It also told me that the support technicians were not well-managed. Well-managed support personnel are coached to listen actively and, when appropriate, go beyond the initial incident report to uncover the root cause of the problem. They are empowered to take the necessary time to “get it right.” And they are encouraged to escalate – not punished for it – when they need help.

When it was all said and done, my support experience didn’t make me feel like a valued customer whose needs my provider understood and cared about. Quite the opposite, I felt like a ticket number, a nuisance, that they wanted to “close” as quickly as possible.