Customer Service and First Impressions, how well does your company perform?

I had two horrific customer service experiences today. I’m in the process of planning transportation for a friend that is coming in from out-of-town. I was gathering information on bus/shuttle service and car rental services near the airport.

My first failed customer service experience was calling a major transportation that promptly greeted me with a recorded message. After listening to the lengthy recording, I made the unconscionable mistake of pressing zero to speak to a human. My effort was rewarded by being disconnected, yes, disconnected. Needless to say, they obviously did not want my business as the most obvious option to get the human assistance I craved, kicked me to the curb. Alas, with no transportation for my friend.

Dare I try to call the rental car company?? I was a little concerned after my first experience. But, then I thought….that couldn’t possibly happen again, could it??? So, I hesitantly picked up the phone and made the attempt to reserve a vehicle for my friend.  I was so relieved when a human, yes a live human being answered the phone; “Major Rental Car Company, how can I help you?” “Hello” I said with glee, “My name is Amanda” As I detailed my situation to the representative. The representative immediately asked me to hold. I was placed on hold for seven minutes.  After being placed on hold that long , I was so frustrated, I decided to hang up.

How is your company being represented once your employee answers the phone? In today’s world consumers are tired of being sent on an automated scavenger hunt. A friendly voice needs to be welcoming that ringing phone and ready to assist the person on the other end. Consumers do not want to be placed on hold, their time is valuable.  Companies sometimes think that it’s saving them time and money by having an automated system or not spending enough training time with their live people answering the phone. It is actually costing them more money, they are losing more customers.  It cost six times more to obtain a new customer that it does to retain the current one.

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