Customer service isn’t what it used to be. It seems like people would rather search Google for answers before attempting to get ahold of someone (we can be guilty of this too…#digitalworld). The worst is when you finally get ahold of someone at the company and they tell you to Google it! Are you joking?! Speaking to automated machines and robots can seem as ineffective as pushing water uphill with a rake. Why bother? But then sometimes, sometimes, you get real humans, with real answers. Jackpot! You don’t know why, but you don’t ask. You take the help that you get and deal with it. And sadly, sometimes these humans are just as useless as the robots. What are we doing wrong in the digital age that we didn’t use to do in pre-Google times?
For starters, people actually seemed to care about other people and getting them the answer the need. Asking for help has become a redundant task because of all the available resources at our fingertips. You have self-help pages, FAQ pages, chat boards, chatbots, Reddit, Amazon, Siri, Alexa, the list goes on! A lot of places to go before you get desperate and get on the phone or send an email via the contact page. In some cases it’s easier to just get on the phone (Time Warner Cable doesn’t seem to agree).
But what can you do if you’re in customer service or just wish to be empathetic for those in who are? Try and be patient (in asking your question and giving your answer). “People tend to express the highest level of fear for things they’re dependent on but that they don’t have any control over, and that’s almost a perfect definition of technology,” says Christopher Bader. Most things that we need customer service for, involve technology, think tech support for any number of computer or phone problems, and a majority of the people in communication are terrified of what the problem is. So breathe, try and be patient. If you’re the person being helped, remember, just because the other person is supposed to be prepared for every situation, doesn’t mean they know exactly what you’re looking at. So you should also be patient. Think about the person on the other end of that phone call.
Pre-Google customer service is most likely customer service we will never see again. Not always by choice, but it is nearly impossible to get a human on the phone, and even when we do, they still aren’t as helpful as we’d like. Why? Because most everything we need help with can be found online. Thankfully, we have companies like Zendesk that have helped eliminate time and space constraints. We achieve the benefits of talking on the phone and to a real person, but over text. We also don’t have to wait to get ahold of them; they usually just ask us if we need help first.
Here at EMB, we understand the lost art of customer service and we want to keep that art alive. We strive to have amazing customer service for our partners and clients and take our own struggles with customer service reps to heart. Though we excel at digital we like to be available IRL, we’re available to talk on the phone and via email during normal business hours, and if we aren’t in, we call back as soon as possible. We’re here to be helpful for our clients and to learn the best ways they like to communicate.
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