Friday, July 8, 2011

Column V2.6 - This is NOT Service… 5/27/11

So, when we left last week, we were discussing Mr. NO-CS – the new Director of Customer Service for the Tool Group. I’m sure I sounded pretty harsh when I said he had no business being over customer service, but let me give you a couple of examples. First off, in the very first meeting that NO-CS had with my team of Tech Guys, one of the fellows said something like “..but our customers love us…” and that’s all it took for NO-CS to raise the roof: ‘How do you know?.. you can’t quantify that…and besides that’s just their opinion’ Well yes, it was. Get this, right outside that very room, we had a wall with 3, 4foot by 8foot bulletin boards that were just covered with thank you letters from customers. Yes, that was their OPINION. I tell you, when NO-CS popped out with that, we all kind of looked at each other and finally realized what a dire mess we were going to be in. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of it. Shortly thereafter, No-CS decided to “make the phone system more efficient”. How, you might ask? By setting up a phone tree that routed the incoming calls “to where they belong”... A call would come in and the caller would be asked if they were a Dealer? Punch no, and you get sent to the call center. Punch yes and you get routed to the call center’s back door. Same place, same people. Then you get asked if you want to order parts or need Tech Service. It is a well-proven fact that most people, whether they need it or not, will opt for the Tech Guys over the ‘normal’ service folks. As a result, we’d have callers come to Tech Service when they might only need a part number for a v-belt. THIS was why, for over 15 years, we trained the call center people to handle the routine questions and held the Tech Guys back behind the scenes. NO-CS didn’t see it that way. He wanted the Tech group to act as a call center group. So, in his phone tree, if you wanted Tech Service; weren’t a Dealer & didn’t know your part number, your call got disconnected. Yep. Cut off. After all, it was YOUR fault that you punched the wrong button. That was the philosophy of the new Customer Service Director. Never mind that we had a 15 year track record of giving the best service in the industry. Nope, all that went out the window…and quickly.
Sadly, that wasn’t the end of the Customer Service deterioration. I was involved with an effort that should have resulted in some HUGE brownie points for me, but not in NO-CS’s world…not on your life. We’ll ‘go there’ next time.

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