Cable service? What cable service?

Speaking of customer service in a previous post, I recently had some pretty bad service from a cable corporation. What’s interesting is that their customer service department is actually not bad but the overall service was poor due to the internal communications between their departments.
Basically, long story short, it took three weeks to get cable television and Internet hooked up. One of the sales managers actually felt terrible for us since he basically told us that we were trying to pay them, and they basically wouldn’t take our money for whatever reason.
Long story short, it’s finally resolved.
But it was three weeks of misery.
I mean, seriously. Have you ever tried to live without Internet? If you have, then you probably aren’t reading this post anyways. Otherwise, feel my pain!
Okay, really now. It was pretty bad. The turn around (so I’m told by some others that work for this company) is usually two-three business days. So they were fairly surprised when we told them how long we waited for some service, including calling their customer service when they requested to be called back and actually in one instance, was placed on hold for more than 2.5 hours before I finally had it and hung up. I have pictures, but I won’t release them since they finally took care of the business.
Some people asked, why didn’t you just go to DSL? Have you ever tried DSL? Ick. I’d be better off going with a T-1 and the service provider that would pull that would probably have been just as bad in customer service.
Oh well, what’s done is done.

One last thing. As a corporation, I would probably want to know this so hear this out. Customer service personnel cannot do anything except take the heat from an irate customer. Sometimes they can do things, but most of the time they just have to calm the situation when they have no significant power. My current job requires much of this and it requires lots of patience. All sorts of it. Not exactly a forté in many peoples’ repertoire.
But the key here is that customer service like anything else is a process that needs to be built directly into every single team. No matter if you’re engineering, sales, or customer service. Just having a customer service team doesn’t really cut it since they can only do so much in the end. If your team is swamped and can’t make certain deadlines then let the CSRs know so that they can communicate it to the customer. There’s nothing worse than telling a mad customer a deadline, then not making that deadline. You’d be better off just being quiet.
Customer service is a process too, and everyone needs to be involved. And it’d do well to remember that.