Brands are verbs. What they do matters more than what they say.
Verizon customer service.Do you pay more attention to what brands do than what they say they will or should do? Think carefully about your last few experiences with brands. While you gather your thoughts, let me tell you about a terrible Verizon customer service standards experience that my wife and I recently went through.
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Have you ever visited a Verizon store? Hopefully, it was a better visit than ours. Perhaps it will stimulate your thinking about your recent customer experiences.
My wife has had her ‘flip’ phone for almost a decade. Her display has been badly cracked for the better part of a year, so our daughter purchased her a new flip phone for her birthday. She refused to try a smartphone.
So before I tell you about our experience at Verizon where we went to get the phone activated, let me ask you a question. How long should it take to activate a simple flip phone, do you think? You probably won’t believe the answer. Over an hour and there were no customers in the store when we arrived. That should be a clue of how bad the service and experience was, yes?
Here are the problems we experienced and what Verizon should have improved on:
Customer service standards … excessive time to accomplish the task
Ok, I have already told you that it took over an hour to activate a simple flip phone. But I didn’t tell you that the service representative could not even complete the task. More on that following. That is amazing.
Service representative not knowledgeable
Over an hour with the service representative, four calls to Verizon and two visits to the other service representative in the store, and he did not finish the task. Need I say more about his knowledge of the Verizon products?
Customer service standards … service or sales?
I have said that we were there in the store to get my wife’s new phone activated. We already selected and had the new Verizon phone when we arrived. That did not stop the service representative from trying to sell us other products and cell phone packages on four occasions during the service visit.
Made it our problem
We did not bring our USB cord with us, as we did not think we needed it. The store could not find one for this phone. This became the source of all the activation issues experienced during the visit.
Do you have a screwdriver?
When the visit started, the service representative needed to remove the battery, which apparently required the use of a screwdriver. He asked my wife if she had one with her. Double amazing, yes?
No store teamwork
When we arrived at the store, there were no customers present and two customer service representatives. The representative that helped us was a stand in from a store 80 miles away. Neither representative knew each other nor the second one was not very supportive in helping in finding a solution to the difficulties his store mate was having (even though he was not busy with any customers for the first 15 minutes).
Never completed job
As we have previously said the service representative never completed his task. He didn’t think he had transferred the contacts from the old phone, and he could not figure out how to back up the phone. Good thing he gave up on the contact transfer, as when we got home we discovered there were three copies of each old contact in the new phone.
Very anxious to move to next customer
As you can imagine, after about 30 minutes trying to finish our job, there were 3-4 customers waiting for service. That put everyone even more on edge. The service representative became even more anxious to move on to next customer. Not a good scene.
It is amazing to my wife and me how many issues in customer service we experienced that day. Not hard to understand why we would classify this one of our worst customer experiences in a very long time.
Do you have a lesson about crafting your customer service and or experience better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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