IT Customer Service, Redefined: Or How to Avoid Being Passed Around Like a Hot Potato

“Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
-Damon Richards

Service providers across the telecom and IT industries have abandoned the notion of truly taking care of their customers.

Major telecoms, wireless providers and cable companies regularly top the list of the worst in customer service, yet while you love to hate them, they still get your business. The very nature of their compensation plan for their customer-facing reps fuels the model of over-promising and under-delivering. Yet we as customers still buy from them.

The sales team comes after you relentlessly to get you to sign with them, and before the ink is dry, you are lobbed over to another group that doesn’t know you and has zero vested interest in your happiness or satisfaction.

Getting passed around
So-called “support” often consists of poorly compensated call center reps who are not involved in the sales process, are rarely mentioned as part of the solution and are incentivized to handle more issues and clients rather than spend the time to be exceptional for one customer. You are now in the “hot potato” customer-service game, where the winner seems to be the one that can transfer you to another department the fastest.

Your sales rep? Gone in search of new logos. If that sounds familiar, it’s because direct sales and support teams in telecom and IT have been doing it for decades and, frankly, we need to demand better.

Sales and support have become “order takers,” not problem-solvers. The problem is not them, it’s the service provider who does not compensate them to get to know you, your business and your needs.

The sales rep moves on because that is what pays them. The support rep gets you to the next department because the call center metrics looks so much better if they handle 30 calls per hour poorly vs. a few calls that truly make customers happy.

The cost of “order takers”
One of the biggest problems that I have seen over and over again through the years is the troubling mix of “order takers” and technology upgrades. The customer is sold enticing new technology that will produce amazing efficiency, yet the “order taker” does not consult the customer on how to properly turn down previous services.

The result is that the customer often ends up paying more due to this oversight. Customers simply lack the time or knowledge to decipher the cryptic code of their technology invoices. Your options then consist of: “pay the bill” or call the “hot potato” support line and waste hours of your life department hopping.

How do we fix this flawed model? It’s pretty simple, actually.

Customer retention is king
Resolve to do business with agent/consultants who value retaining their customers as much as they do gaining new ones. Agents will always bring more resources to the table than direct vendor reps, and, the residual model of their compensation means your satisfaction is not a wish – it’s a must.

Agents can afford to invest time in your business because it’s in their best interest and the compensation model encourages it. Agents are interested in crafting solutions for their clients based on real needs vs. vendor logos. This model will not only save you time but it will save you money and you will get solutions that you can trust.

The choice is yours — “hot potato,” order takers, or solutions-based agents who will invest time in your business.

An experienced Telecom, IT and Cloud expert, Denis P. O’Donovan, Jr. has spent more than 20 years helping businesses streamline their operations, optimize their services, and improve their bottom line results. 

A trusted advisor to companies across industries, Denis will work with you to craft an effective Telecom, IT and Cloud strategy that reduces inefficiencies, delivers savings, and improves the way you run your business.