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  Reply # 1073582 24-Jun-2014 17:13
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richms:
mattwnz:
It would depend on the problem. 9 times out of 10 it will likely be a general problem, or a problem they would need to contact someone else about, which would mean calling you back or putting you on hold.
The good thing about email is that it is all recorded, and you don't need to keep repeating things. One of the most frustrating things about phoning a company is continuously speaking to different people, and having to explain things over and over again. Then they may say something incorrect, and you have no proof of what was said, or you may misinterpret something, very frustrating.Where a single email detailing the issue will usually be enough, and you then get a reply in your own time. But it is horse for courses and depends on the type of phone call. I see phone being better for sales enquiries than support for example, and you will often see companies offering phone for sales, but support has to be logged through an email ticketing system.


A functioning CRM system would solve that problem of repeating yourself, but I know first hand that a company staffed by old people will end up writing their own notes down in their own system and they get quite annoyed when you ask them to email you any requests to call people because "thats not the way I do things"

Yes I am quite bitter about working with a whole lot of old people who are stuck 20 years in the past.


Not an attitude to be proud of.  




Mike
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The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 It's our only home, lets clean it up then...

 

Take My Advice, Pull Down Your Pants And Slide On The Ice!

 

 


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  Reply # 1073682 24-Jun-2014 20:06
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mattwnz:
Glassboy:
BigPipeNZ: 
We do have the ability to call customers if necessary - and you're right for some troubleshooting this is better.  
It means that we are at the convenience of our customers (i.e. we call when they tell us it's ok, they don't wait on hold - which still happens with some so-called 'callback' systems other people use)


I'd like the ability to opt out of call centre scripts - by a mechanism such as the call centre analysts checking my LinkedIn profile - leaving me the ability to just log a call.  The use of first call resolve as a KPI for contact centres is pretty much the single cause of modern call centres being loathed (and ineffectual). 




Or you use a small boutique company which you have a closer relationship with, where you know when you contact them, they will know your level of expertise. When you buy from a large company at a lower price, you are often buying a service that will suit perhaps 80 % of their customer base fine. It is more impersonal, and the phone jockeys maybe dealing with hundreds of calls a day which isn't easy for them, and this can affect the experience. 
But the cost comes with having to follow the same processes that all other customers have to follow each time. So in the case of ISPs, you have to go through all their troubleshooting steps first even though you may have already carried them out and you already know that those are the reason for the problem.


I disagree.  First call resolve was a poor quality KPI with no science behind it that was implemented by lazy managers who couldn't managed tiered support models.  Within a couple of years of it being common, industry figures started advising against using it.  It's possible to have large companies providing volume services with good support.  Where this happens you'll find that the right things are being measured.  You'll also probably find that these companies understand what their true costs are.

Most small NZ companies (not mum and dad) stores give rubbish service because they do not have a service culture, they do not have subject matter experts (plural), and they're managed by someone who thinks he can do everything recruit staff to design the letterhead.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1073690 24-Jun-2014 20:25
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Glassboy:
mattwnz:
Glassboy:
BigPipeNZ: 
We do have the ability to call customers if necessary - and you're right for some troubleshooting this is better.  
It means that we are at the convenience of our customers (i.e. we call when they tell us it's ok, they don't wait on hold - which still happens with some so-called 'callback' systems other people use)


I'd like the ability to opt out of call centre scripts - by a mechanism such as the call centre analysts checking my LinkedIn profile - leaving me the ability to just log a call.  The use of first call resolve as a KPI for contact centres is pretty much the single cause of modern call centres being loathed (and ineffectual). 




Or you use a small boutique company which you have a closer relationship with, where you know when you contact them, they will know your level of expertise. When you buy from a large company at a lower price, you are often buying a service that will suit perhaps 80 % of their customer base fine. It is more impersonal, and the phone jockeys maybe dealing with hundreds of calls a day which isn't easy for them, and this can affect the experience. 
But the cost comes with having to follow the same processes that all other customers have to follow each time. So in the case of ISPs, you have to go through all their troubleshooting steps first even though you may have already carried them out and you already know that those are the reason for the problem.


I disagree.  First call resolve was a poor quality KPI with no science behind it that was implemented by lazy managers who couldn't managed tiered support models.  Within a couple of years of it being common, industry figures started advising against using it.  It's possible to have large companies providing volume services with good support.  Where this happens you'll find that the right things are being measured.  You'll also probably find that these companies understand what their true costs are.

Most small NZ companies (not mum and dad) stores give rubbish service because they do not have a service culture, they do not have subject matter experts (plural), and they're managed by someone who thinks he can do everything recruit staff to design the letterhead.


That is a huge generalisation. Many small companies I deal with provide superior and more personal service. I am basing this on personal experience, and I dread phoning my bank or ISP which are large ones, when I need support. It's painful, and they often make errors where I have to then have to escalate it. I noticed you did put 'not mum and dad', so you would acknowledge that they would provide superior service? Obviously it also depends on the field it is in, as less competitive companies are possibily going to offer poorer service.

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Reply # 1073691 24-Jun-2014 20:27
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Just to go completely against the grain here,

www.inspire.net.nz

Their customer service is so good, they don't even have a phone menu nor a receptionist to put you on hold. First person to take your call sorts you out.

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  Reply # 1073734 24-Jun-2014 21:41
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BigPipeNZ:  I disagree that simply displaying an 0800 number shows they are customer focussed.

When we have the internet there should be no need to ever call a company if that company is sufficiently focussed on providing a great online experience.  Having an 0800 number is a crutch for bad service IMHO.  (and yes, even if your home internet goes down, you still have 3G/4G, so with a decent website or app, it's not a a problem) [snip]


Sorry, Bigpipe, but I'm ever-sceptical of the rationale presented by a company that itself elects not to use phone support. It's not rocket science to posit that the key reason companies forego this type of support is the cost associated with it, not that it is inherently superior.

I'm also intrigued that your arguments are based on the assumption that all users are tech-savy and tech-rich people. For example, it's a dangerous assumption (and indeed completely wrong) that all who have home (wired) internet will also have access to 3G (ie, to contact their ISP when their internet goes down) whether it is because they don't have a smartphone or 3G tablet or, in the case of smart phones, that they haven't got internet set up.

Most importantly, though, is the reality is many people would no doubt prefer to talk to someone rather than make contact via email or similar - in particular, older people and some with disabilities. And in many cases this won't just be a preference but a necessity (lack of access, lack of ability...).

As responses to this thread demonstrate, no single way of making contact with a company will ever be universally supported; this suggests a good company would offer a multiple of ways for its clients to contact it (phone, email, webchat...). This The quality of the service provided is an entirely different issue...



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  Reply # 1073737 24-Jun-2014 21:44
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Then those people without 4g Internet access or a preference for talking can choose an isp that offers that.

Wonderful this choice thing.




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  Reply # 1073746 24-Jun-2014 21:50
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richms: Then those people without 4g Internet access or a preference for talking can choose an isp that offers that. 


The OP's initial thread was not solely about ISPs, so this kinda misses the mark.

richms: Wonderful this choice thing.


The world's woes aren't always solved with trite comments!

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  Reply # 1073773 24-Jun-2014 22:19
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jonathan18:
BigPipeNZ:  I disagree that simply displaying an 0800 number shows they are customer focussed.

When we have the internet there should be no need to ever call a company if that company is sufficiently focussed on providing a great online experience.  Having an 0800 number is a crutch for bad service IMHO.  (and yes, even if your home internet goes down, you still have 3G/4G, so with a decent website or app, it's not a a problem) [snip]


Sorry, Bigpipe, but I'm ever-sceptical of the rationale presented by a company that itself elects not to use phone support. It's not rocket science to posit that the key reason companies forego this type of support is the cost associated with it, not that it is inherently superior.

yep, I mentioned that reason too.  To be honest with you, I was pretty sceptical myself when we were designing Bigpipe that it could work. As far as we could find, no other ISP around the world has ever tried online-only based support. Plenty of other businesses do it, including a few mobile carriers, but no ISPs.  But we've found that it absolutely does work.



I'm also intrigued that your arguments are based on the assumption that all users are tech-savy and tech-rich people. For example, it's a dangerous assumption (and indeed completely wrong) that all who have home (wired) internet will also have access to 3G (ie, to contact their ISP when their internet goes down) whether it is because they don't have a smartphone or 3G tablet or, in the case of smart phones, that they haven't got internet set up.

Most importantly, though, is the reality is many people would no doubt prefer to talk to someone rather than make contact via email or similar - in particular, older people and some with disabilities. And in many cases this won't just be a preference but a necessity (lack of access, lack of ability...).

As responses to this thread demonstrate, no single way of making contact with a company will ever be universally supported; this suggests a good company would offer a multiple of ways for its clients to contact it (phone, email, webchat...). This The quality of the service provided is an entirely different issue...




oh for sure,  there will always be people who much prefer a call centre, just like there will always be people who prefer buying stuff in a store vs online shopping, people who prefer to use landlines instead of mobiles, people who prefer going into a bank rather than using online banking, people who prefer having their petrol pumped by an attendant etc etc
My statements were a generalisation of overall trends rather than trying to be all inclusive.  
We're not trying to serve every single person.  We're very clear in the sign up process that we only provide support online.
My point is that nowadays, and this is becoming more and more true every year, internet based service, when done properly, is better than traditional service for almost every interaction.  There will always be people who shy away from using the internet and that's fine, but for most people it's a superior experience.

Xero is a great case study in how to do it well
check this out  http://www.xero.com/blog/2013/10/skinny-support/

T
he main problem we have is when people's view of online support is tainted by their experience with companies who do it as an afterthought, and so they assume that emails will take several days to be replied to, or even missed altogether, when the reality is we get back to people within about 20 minutes, usually even faster. (plenty of posts in this thread showing this is a common assumption)





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  Reply # 1073775 24-Jun-2014 22:27
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Must say I'm fond of online chat based support for quick and simple things but this is probably because the only other option is to call knowing you'll be on hold for half an hour. Emailing for support? No thanks. If something is broke I'm not going to get into an email conversation with someone.

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  Reply # 1073963 25-Jun-2014 09:46
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mattwnz:  

That is a huge generalisation. Many small companies I deal with provide superior and more personal service. I am basing this on personal experience, and I dread phoning my bank or ISP which are large ones, when I need support. It's painful, and they often make errors where I have to then have to escalate it. I noticed you did put 'not mum and dad', so you would acknowledge that they would provide superior service? Obviously it also depends on the field it is in, as less competitive companies are possibily going to offer poorer service.


The point of difference for a "mum and dad" store is the personal service.  That's why people are willing to pay for them.    That doesn't scale up beyond that because poor people management and culture quickly erode that value.

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  Reply # 1074019 25-Jun-2014 10:40
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I find a level of irony when most email forms state "we will endeavour to reply within 24hrs" vs a phone call hold time of maybe 5-10mins, perhaps an 1hr in extreme circumstances but that is still a quicker resolution to an issue.

Of course it all depends on what the issue is.

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  Reply # 1074050 25-Jun-2014 11:13
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Mum and dad stores are fine while you are working ok with them on a personal level, but a complaint can quickly erode any goodwill and make the place painful to deal with. There is too much personality in the way at lots of places like that and "not wanting to complain" makes people put up with a lot of crap that would be inexcusable if it was from a larger place.




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  Reply # 1074054 25-Jun-2014 11:17
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About contact forms... Visited the Armstrong Group website and clicked "BOOK A SERVICE NOW"... Entered the details (name, car maker, car model, regitration, phone number) and selected a date from the date picker.

I received a confirmation email, so my expectation was that this was automatically booked in their CRM somewhere, waiting for me on the day.

A day later I got a phone call from someone who starts by saying "You sent us an email asking for information on booking a service. When do you want it?"

I told him "No, I filled the booking form, the date was entered and I got an email confirmation" to which he replied, "no, we got an email from you asking for information on booking."

I just didn't want to spend time explaining to this person that there's a booking form, I got a confirmation email, and I expected it to be already booked. I just said "sure, can I have it for [date] please?

companies with bad customer services, bad systems, people who don't want to understand their customers.

That's all.





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  Reply # 1074066 25-Jun-2014 11:32
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sdav: I find a level of irony when most email forms state "we will endeavour to reply within 24hrs" vs a phone call hold time of maybe 5-10mins, perhaps an 1hr in extreme circumstances but that is still a quicker resolution to an issue.

Of course it all depends on what the issue is.


The problem IMHO is that most businesses rely on their call centre, and don't give email enough weight.

I just checked our current numbers for Bigpipe:

In the last week, we responded to 100% of customer support requests within our stated SLA  (2 hours for urgent issues,  24 hours for non-urgent, inside business hours of 8am-8pm 7 days a week)

Our average response time was 24 minutes across all contact requests. (we prioritise urgent requests too)

I expect this to improve over the next few weeks as we continue to implement better tools for our people.
We're targeting 15 minutes for urgent requests.


I'd be interested to see equivalent stats from other ISPs.  Based on what people are saying here about their anecdotal experiences, I doubt they would even be in the same ballpark.





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  Reply # 1074241 25-Jun-2014 13:21
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freitasm: About contact forms... Visited the Armstrong Group website and clicked "BOOK A SERVICE NOW"... Entered the details (name, car maker, car model, regitration, phone number) and selected a date from the date picker.


Bahhh that's nothing.  I used Contact Energy's sign up web form, got a back a confirmation.  Then I didn't get the expected follow up and so I rang, and they had no record of it.  Sounds like the form should just raise a ticket in a queue (email as API) for someone on the Contact Centre to manually create the connection, but it had black holed.  A nice lady signed me up and made sure we'd be all connected before move in day.

A couple of months later and I still haven't received a bill or any account material via email.  So for the last three weeks I've been trying to ring, and email and have been getting nowhere.  I kept getting a message that they have too many calls and to ring back another time.  the email was answered once with a request for more information, but whne I supplied it nothing happened.  (Although I did get a satisfaction survey request).

Today I deliberately chose the wrong CTI options on the 0800, and after it hanging up on me randomly five or so time I got through to a nice man (Merv I think) who was very helpful and looked things up for me and I am a customer (damn no free power) and I should be getting a bill shortly, and he told me all about the payment options.



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