Just recently I was shopping satellite television providers. It seems like every time I turn around, I’m getting tagged for some additional (hidden) cost with my current provider—which by the way, I have been loyal to for 8 years. And yep, regardless of that loyalty, they keep inching up my monthly fees and before you know it what you’re paying is not what you signed up for. It wasn’t but just a few months ago that I was on the phone to negotiate a better deal, understand the pricing and eliminate unnecessary features that I didn’t want. I managed to reduce the monthly fees, but then I received my bill in the mail last month and voila…the fee went up $9.00/month for the same service and features. What’s that all about?
So, I thought, I’m going to check out their competitor. Well it was a Sunday afternoon and lo and behold there was a customer service representative with a competitor online ready to chat with me about service. I thought to myself, “Yes, let’s find a better deal!” I reviewed their offerings and was interested in learning more about their mid-range package.
I opened the online chat feature to speak with a service representative and typed in my question. “Hello, I’d like some information. What are all the features and stations that come with your mid-range package and specifically, what internet radio stations come with it too?” The initial response was “Hi, I’m Greg and I’m happy to serve you. How can I help you?” I thought, hmmm….I’ve already asked my question, so I typed it in again. There was a pause of about 3 minutes before he responded. He then replied back “Are you planning to purchase today?” to which I replied, “I’m exploring the options you are offering. Can you answer my question?” Dead silence. It was 10 minutes before I finally had enough of the no response and proceeded to type in chat again “Hello Greg. Are you still there? Can you answer my question?” Again, there was no response. Another 10 minutes later, the chat connection was discontinued, not by me but by Greg. That’s like hanging up the phone during a conversation. Talk about rude! I couldn’t believe it, but then again, what can potential customers come to expect with businesses today, not just in the satellite TV business, but any business for that matter. And what added fuel to the fire was the next day I heard a commercial from the head of this company tout how they were #1 in customer satisfaction. So, I checked out the American Customer Satisfaction Index latest reported scores for the company for 2010 under Subscription Television Service category and they’re at 71% in customer satisfaction. That means 29% of customers are unsatisfied.
The behavior by the employee representing this satellite television provider was appalling. It begs the question, “Whatever happened to common courtesy? Why are so many businesses just focused on signing a new customer on-board? And when the potential customer doesn’t commit immediately, they drop them like a hot potato. I wonder if the CEO of this company really knows what is happening on the front line. If he does, then he doesn’t really care. What are their values as a company? If they had a set of core values that employees understood and lived up to each and every day through training and reinforcement, they could probably make huge strides in customer satisfaction, not to mention deliver a courteous and respectful brand experience.
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