Fixing A Problem, Harder When People Involved.
The Problem Solving Of A Customer Service Rep is Harder These Days. The Callers Problems Trump Manners Sometimes.

The product, service you got a whale of a deal on is all fine and dandy until something fetches up, hits a sandbar.

Goes a ground. Until things end up a muck, you don’t lay awake nights wondering whether the firm gets five gold stars for service. Is not something on your personal radar. Until loss of a service. Rut ro. The product dies that you are dependent on big time happens. And you find yourself in the breakdown lane flashing four ways with the hood up so to speak. Just wanting restoration.

For starters, it’s not the fault of the person in quality control, trouble shooting.

But training to be sensitive, get to the bottom of the problem and to direct the “back on your feet” process is key. Sensing frustration growing from the customer but not taking it personal. Being tough skinned but sensitive and caring. Tender hearted, empathetic is an art form and needs an ET glowing heart to power it.

But during “what’s the problem” trouble shooting, being asked about will you take a little survey on how we’re doing is the last thing on the caller’s mind. Now is not a good time to expect, look for some positive feedback. Like dialing the 800 number for “how’s my driving” staring at you while waiting for the jaws of life.

Stuck wedged, bleeding and looking thru small slit blood shot eyeballs.

Smack dab into the back of the semi that caused the multi car pile up with the number to call request on the wreckage. While the on and off, hold the phone while we reroute this call unfolds. Drags on. Or while the APB goes out for the MIA man hunt for someone else that can offer the caller help. It can get old, tedious. When the derailment of the service, or down time for a product repair or replacement gets some age on it. After weeks and weeks run into each other with still missing service. Or a dead product that stopped ticking, spinning, doing whatever it was trained to do on the assembly line.

If you were a Maine small mom and pop business operation, the on hold ad propaganda to sell something probably would not be playing on and on.

And having to ask someone else for help would not either. Because the owner is in the store, on the phone and deals with the issue all the time. Knows the product and service backwards and forwards. Sometimes help calls re-routed to some other solar system can mean the danger of dying from old age, left stranded on hold.

Automation is part of today and eliminating jobs to have a healthy head above water bottom line. To stay a float in business. But going through the “if this punch 2, if that tap 3” when none really apply can get old. As tons of time eaten up that the automation is suppose to save ends up doing the opposite. And over and over, return calls happen because the issue is not resolved. But for some reason does not get kicked upstairs to expedite resolution.

I feel bad for folks in large impersonal companies that can give the impression they don’t really like where they work. That somehow the caller is being a nuisance. It would have been nice if the whiner with the problem could have called after their shift was over. To get a new “how can I help you” brand new voice.

On hold, selling something pre-recordings that loop on and on interfere with the other end caller.

Where the customer could be doing another task while waiting. But over modulated commercials are coming at the caller like asteroids, or being battered by hail stones. Silence is golden but the caller has to be ready if someone does come on the line. Or wakes you up from droning off in the hurry up and wait that can make your head foggy, swim. Trying to do something productive comes out of the delay if you neck cradle the phone or put it on the speaker for the rest around you to have to sample.

Fix it yourself used to be the only and quickest option before everything got highly specialized. In a throw away, replace the module or entire device happened as quickest, cheapest. The best return of investment of time as personnel feel escalating tension as the issue is not dealt with to the satisfaction of the caller.

The key is sensing when frustration is not anger with you from the person trying to just get help.

It is simply end of their rope, boiling over building up. Down to their last nerve and you are standing on it happening. You are the fortunate one that the luck of the draw, rotation caused you to be the one on the friendly firing range. Keeping your head down and staying calm. Working the scenarios for solutions. Maine, common sense, respect for others stills happens every day. Every one just wants to help.

I’m Maine REALTOR Andrew Mooers, ME Broker