Friday, June 18, 2010

Customer service is not just polite staff

I wanted to make payment for my cellphone bill, as usual, I am using teller order to do it everytime. Why not auto debit? Because I need to check the items on bill before proceeding with payment.

Ok, call my celco, found that the credit card registered to the celco is the card I intended to cancel due to stupid Government service tax on credit card.

Then I switch over to operator assisted call, hope that someone can help me to do this.

Earlier of the day, I have requested TM to do so, and TM duly complied.

A polite voice over the other side asked: what can I help you sir?

"I want to pay my bill, but I want to pay with another card. Can you help me to change the record as I cannot use the teller oder now."

"Sorry sir. You cannot change it over the phone. Please give me your fax number, we will fax a form to you. You fill in the particulars, and fax it back, then we will process."

"Ah? Why so difficult? When I started the teller order, it was over the phone, you did not ask me to fill any form."

"This is our procedure for change of credit card, sorry sir, else you may visit our branch to perform the task."

"Hello! I am staying some 60Km away from your nearest branch, why should I travel all the way for something which should be done over the phone?"

"I am sorry sir, I can't help you at this point. This is our procedure."

"I don't blame you. But Celcom should be more responsive to the customer. This is clearly unacceptable. I wanted to change the card because I wanted to terminate the old card to avoid paying for Government tax."

"Sorry sir, either we fax you the form, or you go to our branch. It cannot be done over the phone. This is our procedure."

"I am ok if you pay my traveling expenses and lost of time for me to go to your branch to do something I don't think I should, or if you pay for my government tax, then I'll be happy not to bother you with this."

"I am sorry sir. I cannot do outside the procedure."

"I pity you guys. Your management is to be blamed for such procedure. Can you refer to your manager on this case? I am not going to your branch unless is necessary, or I will not keep the card and pay government tax just for you."

The above conversation repeated 3 times over the day.

The next day, a lady called:"Mr Chia, I am from the collection department, our higher management has approved that you can change the card details for teller order over the phone, can I have your new card details?"

"Why should you have such faxing procedure in the first place?"

"Starting December 2009, changing card details requires faxing of form. Alternatively, I can email the form and you fill in and fax back. But now the management approved your request."

"What?? Your management must be dumb to come out with such guideline. I need no management approval from your side, I just need to change the card details, as I would when I register over the phone on teller oder. Why should I do more than I should?"

Am not going to write lengthly on the actual conversation, but this is the core message.

A Stupid procedure or guideline implemented without staff understanding why, and making customer feel uneasy, is a failure.

Why should a customer do more when he/she wanted to pay? Why not just accept the payment? What's wrong?

Sometimes you cannot understand why these so-called high-caliber/highly paid brains coming out with something that is not helpful to both the organization and its customer.

One last word:

Customer service 101 : Make your customer happy by making things easy for them, not complicate the issue. If you cannot solve the customer's problem, you fail.

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