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The 1 thing I never want to hear from a customer services rep

By Fiona Ness on Mon 26 January 2015 in Sales

Customer service is a difficult job. People don’t generally get in touch to let you know everything is fine. The chances are you’ll be speaking to people who are already irritated, so getting your response right is key.

As a customer I don’t think my expectations are too high, I just want someone to help. In fact, there is only one thing that a customer service rep can say that will really annoy me, and unfortunately when I spoke to my mobile phone provider last week they used the deadly line:

“We’re unable to help you with that.”

So what happened? I had no service and tweeted them to let them know – I would have called but I had no service, and like 30% of the population, don’t have a landline.

What did my mobile phone provider say? There aren’t any reported problems in your area (good), we’d recommend calling customer services (bad).

My response? But I have no service, and no alternative line, can I speak to someone online?

The nail in the coffin? “We’re unable to assist with tech queries online, you’ll have to call customer services”.

And that was it. I’d been told that they couldn’t help me. I’d gone from a mildly irritated customer to a well and truly annoyed customer.

The point I’m trying to make here is there is no excuse to tell a customer you can’t help with one of your products or services, especially if you are the biggest mobile phone provider in the UK.

I don’t expect the first person that I speak to be able to fix all my problems, but I do expect them to arrange for me to speak to the right person, whether that’s by phone, email, Twitter or online chat.

In SMEs, service tends to be the thing we’re really good at. It’s rare that we can’t help because we know our products inside out, but the thing that does stop us helping is a lack of access to the right information.

My mobile phone provider displayed this lack of access to the right information perfectly, but it’s actually not hard to give your team access to the right information as and when they need it.

To find out more about whether a lack of access to the right information is a problem for you get in touch with one of our consultants to find out how we can help.