Tag Archives: Customer Service

3 Months To Get A Phone : A Lesson In Customer Relations!

3 Months To Get A Phone = 5 Lessons In Customer Relations!

Great customer relations is essential for companies to retain customers. But once in a while, when companies get too big, they forget how essential customer relations are.

My attempt to get a phone for 3 months from a leading telco is a great example of how bad customer service can dent the trust of even the most loyal customer.

This is more than a tale of poor customer service though. It also highlights the importance of investing in backend operations.

Updated @ 20190-06-01 : Find out what happened when I went to pick up my “reserved phone”…

Originally posted @ 2019-05-27

 

3 Months To Get A Phone??!

It is usually easy enough to renew a telco contract, and pick up a new phone. Just walk into a service centre, sign on the dotted line, pay for your phone, and walk out in an hour.

But it took me 3 months to get a new phone from this major telco. Seriously.

When I investigated the issue, I was shocked to learn what really happened…

No, that’s not me. But I look exactly like Ice Cube when I found out what was going on…

 

Customer Relations Failure #1 : Breaking Promises

They are a popular telco, so it was no surprise that they would have no stock of the phone whenever I drop by their service centre.

Each time though, they will have me register my interest, promising to reserve a unit for me. They also said they would call me when they receive the unit on Monday or Thursday.

Unfortunately, they NEVER called me back. Not even once.

Lesson #1 : Don’t promise customers something, even it’s a simple call back, if you do not intend to fulfil it.

 

Customer Relations Failure #2 : No Coordination With Other Departments

Eventually, I got fed up and called their customer relations call centre instead. Their customer service specialist immediately saw the absurdity of the situation.

He told me he would have the phone mailed to me instead, and that the delivery service would call me to make arrangements.

FABULOUS! Finally, someone doing something proactive…

But more than a week later, there was no sign of the phone. Not even a call.

When I called customer relations again, I found out that a separate home fibre department put a stop to my phone order, because I allegedly owed them money on an account that was terminated long ago.

As far as I could tell – there was no coordination between the two departments. No one called or emailed the other department or even me to inform me of the situation.

Lesson #2 : If Department B makes a change to Department A’s customer order, it should inform both Department A and the customer!

 

Customer Relations Failure #3 : Three Backend Failures No One Addressed

With the help of another customer relations officer, we discovered that I did not actually owe them any money.

It was all due to, not one, not two, but THREE backend failures that no one addressed for more than a year!

  • In the past, every home fibre customer will be given two accounts – one for the home fibre Internet, and another one for the VOIP phone service.
  • In February 2018, they began consolidating them – combining both into one account. However, they failed to do this for my account… and no one noticed.
  • They also began charging for printed itemised bills, in an effort to encourage users to sign up for e-billing.
  • However, that exercise was apparently not properly executed, leading to my account being charged even though I neither used the VOIP phone, nor received a single printed bill.
  • On 14 April 2018, they “terminated” my VOIP account for “non-payment” with an outstanding sum of RM 37.55 ($8.99) for itemised bills that were not actually printed or sent.
  • Their system failed to send me any notice to pay for this mistake, and no one noticed for more than a year.
  • Someone eventually realised I still owed them money and forwarded this princely sum to the collections department on 15 May 2019.
  • As it so happened, that was about the time I requested for the phone to be delivered to my house… which they promptly cancelled without notice.

Lesson #3 : Enterprise IT is not sexy, but it is CRITICAL. We have to wonder if they made so many mistakes because their backend teams are understaffed.

It is human to make mistakes. But it takes a special kind of genius to make THREE mistakes like that, and not notice them for more than a year.

 

Customer Relations Failure #4 : Taking Too Long To Make A Change

Their customer relations officer assured me that I never actually owed them anything, and that it was a mistake on their part. Which was a relief… which meant I could now get my phone?

However, he also shared a problem with their system – it would take them at least 24 hours to correct the records. Only after that, can they release the hold on my account, so I can have that phone.

Seriously – in this day and age – it takes no less than 24 hours to edit a payment record?

Ultimately, this means that after 3 months and numerous pledges to reserve the phone, and one attempt to mail it to me, I am no closer to getting that phone.

Lesson #4 : Again, enterprise IT is not sexy… but it’s CRITICAL. If it takes your team 24 hours to make a change, your IT systems are easily 20 years out of date!

 

Customer Relations Failure #5 : Lack Of A Proper System

Even though their customer relations officer reserved the phone with a particular service centre, I found out that the service centre has NO VISIBILITY on reservations.

When I went to pick up my “reserved phone”, the customer service officer there told me there was no system to check for reservations.

Now it makes sense why no one actually reserved a unit for me, even though I kept registering my interest to “reserve the phone”. Not even when their own customer relations officer reserved one for me…

Finally, received the phone… This was actually the SECOND model I “reserved” since I started the process…

Fortunately for me, and happily for them, they happened to have stock of the phone. So I walked out yesterday with the phone, not because it was reserved, but because they happened to have stock of the phone…

Lesson #5 : If there is no reservation system, pretending to have one is wrong. If there is a reservation system, but your staff does not have visibility of the reservations, that is just plain stupid.

 

What They Got Right

Despite all these travails, every single customer relations officer I spoke to did one thing right – they were all calm, pleasant, and tried their best to be helpful.

My exasperation in being dragged along for 3 months must be very obvious, but they were never condescending.

Even though I’m really annoyed it took me THREE MONTHS to get a phone from them, I’m glad it did not escalate into an epic screaming match.

 

Customer Relations Is More Than Just Lip Service

If there’s anything to gain from this article is that I hope they LEARN the lessons from this tale of rampant systemic failures, and fix the problems BEFORE they get worse.

Ordinary customers will NOT care why you guys got things wrong so badly. They just know that you screwed up, period.

So we sincerely hope that this analysis will help ALL telcos improve their systems to avoid such issues.

Because if they persist… it can only mean one thing – the system was DESIGNED to indirectly extend the customer’s expired contract for as long as possible. Now, that would really, REALLY wrong, wouldn’t it?

 

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Freshworks Omniroute + Proximity Add WhatsApp Support!

Freshworks just announced that their Omniroute and Proximity software have added support for WhatsApp Business to better deliver online customer support for businesses.

Here is a quick primer on what they did, and what it means for Omniroute and Proximity users!

 

Freshworks Omniroute

Freshworks Omniroute is a customer engagement software that helps businesses manage and direct user customer conversations. It gives their customer service agents a unified view of customer inquiries across multiple channels

 

Freshworks Omniroute Adds 1.5 Billion WhatsApp Users

Integrating Omniroute with WhatsApp Business was a logical move, allowing Omniroute to cover the massive network of 1.5 billion WhatsApp users.

This integration will make Omniroute more compelling, by giving their users the ability to directly and quickly contact their customers via WhatsApp.

“Users no longer have to jump through hoops to reach out to a business – all they have to do is flip out their mobile and engaging with their favorite brand is just a message away on WhatsApp,” says Girish Mathrubootham, CEO of Freshworks.

 

Freshworks Proximity For Freshchat

Freshworks Proximity has also added integration with WhatsApp Business. Proximity allows businesses to send our messages to their customers on a large scale.

Adding WhatsApp Business support will mean adding another avenue to reach out to that massive 1.5 billion user pool.

 

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Samsung Customer Service Is Quick & Efficient

Kuala Lumpur, 22 July 2016 – Driven by the 3S motto; Speed, Solution and Satisfaction, Samsung Malaysia Electronics places consumers first with its after sales service.

As told by a happy customer and life coach Mr Phnuah Chee Peng, “Samsung is a trusted brand with very good after sales service experience!”.

Earlier this year, Mr Phnuah made a call to the Samsung Customer Service Careline (1-800-88-9999) to arrange for technicians to visit his home to check up on his Samsung Smart TV. As promised, the technicians went over and immediately rectified his TV.

Since then, Mr Phnuah is a proud Samsung owner and has been telling his friends how satisfied he is with Samsung’s customer service.

Watch the video to see how happy Mr Phnuah is with the brand’s quick and efficient customer service.

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Samsung Smart Service Enhances Aftersales Experience

Kuala Lumpur, 1 July 2016 – Innovations play a critical role in modern living and in an ongoing effort to deliver an augmented experience to consumers; Samsung Malaysia Electronics reiterate its commitment in offering the best aftersales experience through its enhanced Samsung Smart Service programme. Driven by the 3S motto; Speed, Solution and Satisfaction, Samsung Smart Service is specially curated to meet the needs of customers, reassuring them that they can receive the care and attention needed with ease.

“At Samsung, we recognise and understand that various unpredictable scenarios could occur when it comes to electronic products. This is why we are constantly upgrading and improving, not only on our innovations, but our customer service as well. Our customers and supporters are our utmost importance, which is why we want them to have a peace of mind when using our products,” said Elaine Soh, Chief Marketing Officer, Samsung Malaysia Electronics.

Placing high importance on providing speedy solutions, Samsung introduces Remote assistance to ensure that customers’ queries are responded in a timely manner. The Samsung Smart Service enables an agent to remotely access the device to troubleshoot and guide customers on tips and tricks to optimize their device usage.

Operating on a steadfast 24/7 multilingual, award-winning care-line (1-800-88-9999), Samsung’s dedicated teams are trained to recognise products and assess situations to expedite remedies. As for consumer electronic products, customers can arrange for a technician to visit their home using the care-line. A Live Chat is also available via Samsung’s instant messaging support system to answer all customer enquiries.

Additionally, Samsung’s 21 Express Service Centres located nationwide provide customers with efficient, speedy solutions which include phone repairs. Technicians at the Express Service Centres are trained to repair mobile phones within the shortest time possible.

The Samsung Smart Service programme offers more than just speedy service but also direct solutions for a complete customer care understanding. Samsung Experience Stores (SES) were traditionally known for retail services only. Today, all SES offer a myriad of in-shop services which include software upgrades, data transfer guidance service, free set-ups and installations as well as arrangements for component replacements and fast off-site repairs.

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For customers who are unable to visit the Express Service Centres, the SES also serves as a one-stop-solution hub where customers can simply drop off their devices for repair and arrange for them to be transported to the repair service centres and collected later on at the same location. With these in-store assistances, Samsung’s customers can expect convenient and efficient response.

Finally, to provide maximum satisfaction, Samsung additionally supports its services by providing customers Samsung Smart Warranty – the option of a 1-year warranty extension. Available for purchase and claimable at any Express Service Centres nationwide, the extended warranty is an added value that gives customers a peace of mind.

Being one of the global leaders in technology, Samsung is always looking out for opportunities to enhance its service quality. Earlier this year, the brand held a Smart Service Contest for customer service officers (CSO) and technicians to level up their skills.

Samsung is also one of the largest electronics brand with the widest service network coverage; 72 SES outlets nationwide. With a total of 111 drop-off and collection points which includes authorized dealerships, Samsung Smart Service is easily accessible for consumers to service their electronic products anywhere around Malaysia. Samsung Brand Stores and Express Service Centres are located in most major cities in Peninsular and East Malaysia.

 

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Malaysia’s Largest OPPO Customer Service Center

Kuala Lumpur, 21 June 2016 — Continue in the effort to serve the customer better and enhance the brand’s aftersales quality, OPPO expanded its customer service to a broader scale and opened Malaysia’s largest OPPO customer service center in Plaza Berjaya, Kuala Lumpur today. The opening ceremony of the customer service marked a milestone for the company’s stable growth in the Malaysian market.

During the ceremony, OPPO Malaysia further announced that the company offers free software upgrade, free device clean-up, repairing services and free password unlocking for customers who face trouble logging into their phone. All OPPO customers can enjoy these free services for a life-time when they visit any OPPO Customer Service Center.

(From Right) William Fang, Chief-Executive-Officer of OPPO Malaysia and Garry Gong, Sales Director of OPPO Malaysia at the opening ceremony of Malaysia’s largest OPPO Customer Service Center

“The expansion of our company’s customer service center is part of the milestone that we have set to accomplish in year 2016. We are going to, not only expand our OPPO stores, but also the service providing centers in order to make our business more sustainable and further increase customers’ satisfactory level and retain them for as our loyal customers, not only for the product itself, but also the aftersales services being provided.” said William Fang, Chief-Executive-Officer of OPPO Malaysia.

“With the steady sales performance of F1 and F1 Plus in Malaysia, we have achieved a brand new high with our customer record, ending the second quarter and entering into the third quarter in year 2016, we hope to provide our existing customers with excellent aftersales service in a more convenient manner, but also hope to draw more customers with the convenience of the aftersales service we can provide.” said Garry Gong, Sales Director of OPPO Malaysia.

“Entering into the third quarter in year 2016, we hope to provide our existing customers with excellent aftersales service in a more convenient manner, but also hope to draw more customers with the convenience of the aftersales service we can provide.” said Garry Gong, Sales Director of OPPO Malaysia.

There are 21 customer service centers located in Malaysia and all of the customer service centers are operating directly under OPPO Malaysia, making sure that all OPPO users receive excellent aftersales quality of OPPO Malaysia.

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