Why Your Customer Service Sucks

I always thought customer service couldn’t get worse than the long hold times and recorded messages of Verizon and Comcast. Then I got stuck with Beam Telecom as my internet service provider in India. I’ve never been more furious in my life at a service provider, and it’s all because they have horrible customer service.

Here’s what they get wrong, and what your organization should avoid. 

They Don’t Keep Track of Problems

Our internet has disconnected multiple times in the last few weeks. Each time we call we have to explain the problem again as if its the first time its happened. If Beam used better customer tracking in their database, they would know that we’ve called multiple times a day with the same problem in the last few weeks. They would also know who came to our apartment to fix it and when, and what the solution was. The technology to do this is readily available and with that information, they could expedite service. 

They Don’t Have Set Service Hours

When Beam decides to send a technician, they only say they will come within 24 hours instead of a set time. And even if you say they need to come between certain hours, they don’t follow your request. Comcast and other service providers give you a range of hours so that you can be at home and prepared. Sure, plenty of times the technicians don’t show up at the intended time, but at least they give you a range of hours to work with. Beam says they will call before they show up, but they never do, and then they are surprised when they show up at your home and nobody is there. It’s poor planning and a waste of everyone’s time when it could be easily fixed with a scheduling mechanism for their technicians and customers. 

They Don’t Troubleshoot over the Phone

Other technical companies have great troubleshooting guides and assistance over the phone. Beam won’t give you any advice over the phone about how you could fix your problem on your own. Our problem goes beyond individual troubleshooting though because our server keeps crashing. When my internet stops working in the states, my first question when I call my service provider is if there is an outage in my area. They look up my area and the answer is usually that there is a temporary outage and they are fixing it in the next few hours. When I call Beam, even if there is a server issue and they know there is a server issue that they are working to resolve, they won’t tell me that over the phone. The more information you can provide to ease a customer’s concerns, the better. 

What They Do Right

It can’t be all bad news for Beam. They do one thing right. They send text messages and emails after every call recording the ticket number and issue. This is helpful for keeping track of multiple tickets and repeat calls, and something I haven’t seen Verizon or Comcast do well. 

Many of these issues mentioned could be easily solved if Beam had a better tracking mechanism in their customer relations management system. If you learn from Beam’s mistakes, your organization will run more efficiently and have happier customers.  

Great customer service does exist and should be rewarded. This story of customer service at its best is one of my favorites, as is this one

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