Brightening a Poor Customer Service Rep’s Day
In my quest to migrate from my old AT&T Wireless plan to a proper Cingular one, I’ve been spending a lot of time talking to customer care reps. I know that evem though AT&T Wireless and Cingular are “one company” now, they are still seperate sets of systems, cell phone towers, rate plans, processes, procedures, etc. Quite literally, the companies were forbidden from sharing any information with each other up until about a month ago. It takes a lot longer than a month to integrate two relatively large companies into the largest mobile phone carrier in the United States.
Monday, I had called in to start the migration process. Today, I called to find out the status of that. Turned out my order never got submitted because it was incomplete somehow. So I had to go through the painful process again, which took a long time. It’s like migrating to a different mobile phone carrier almost. I mean, you’re not really doing that, but the process you must go through and the questions they ask you make it seem like that’s what you’re doing.
The gentlemen I spoke with told me something that, in a way, made my day. He told me that I was the nicest most understanding person he’s dealt with during this process. How did I do that? Quite easily. I knew going in what I was up against. I knew that mistakes were going to happen, people were just flat out not knowing how to handle things under “The New Cingular” regime. With each rep I talked to, I sympathized with their situation in detail–everything from dealing with many irate customers to new, unfamiliar computer systems and processes. Those poor reps have really got it tough.
While the process took a long time, I at least made it as pleasant for myself and the poor customer service reps as possible. Several of the reps I talked to thanked me for being so understanding, patient, and pleasant. And while I don’t know if I will ever talk to those particular reps again, I can rest easy knowing that I was able to do something nice for them without them being able to do anything in return.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t pay to be angry at the customer service rep. It might make you feel good, but you will almost never gain the representatives goodwill. Friendliness begets friendliness.