Since we are in the UK we’ve got our own prepaid mobile numbers. We chose EE as our carrier because, as statistics shown, has the best coverage area. In our home the service was poor, although it worked anyway.
Suddenly last monday our area became a no service zone for EE mobile signal, indoor or outdoor. And when I say outdoor I mean on my balcony, on my street, main street, two blocks away.
Because of this we decided to port out our numbers to another carrier and as we had a great experience in Lisbon with Vodafone, so… Vodafone will be.
The process is very simple: go to a store, ask for a temporary SIM card, then you enter your data in a web form and wait for the port out process starts in the next working day. And that is how it happened!
The port-in to Vodafone happened perfectly last July 29, but my husband’s… Well… Let’s say that he got only 1/4 of the service working. He could make calls but couldn’t receive it or use data or text.
He tried to call to the customer service and after 20min holding the line he just gave up. It woke up my “know it all” vein about telecommunications and customer service (don’t blame me! I worked in that segment for 11 years!) and I started looking for answers and for a way to make a complaint. So, I reached an option to a live chat, after all, there’s nothing to lose, right?
I chose the options for the correct service and at first a assistant called (I guess) Pranav P. started to chat with me and after lots of questions and informations he said that he was from the pay monthly department and could not help me with my questions. He transferred the conversation ( via chat, weird though) to a colleague called Pankaj.
And after some information exchanged with Pankaj, he asked me to hold and when he came back… the system was down.
My disappointment was clear: “but I can’t receive any calls, text or data” (yes, the fast typing made me swap the letter I and E in receive, my fault).
He promptly replied: “Please don’t worry. You are chatting with Pankaj, and when the customer is with Pankaj, I always make sure that all the requirements of the customers are fulfilled.”
He got my attention. With my large background in customer service department (as assistant, coaching, training, supervisor and coordinator) I always believed that the client should feel close to the person he/she is in contact with, and this particular proximity was something that I always try to captivate inside my training team’s mind. After all, that person represents the service a client hired, right?
But that was not up to me or the attendants to decide how talk to the clients. That’s all on companies or people who are in “charge”.
The mobile carrier in Portugal, that I worked for 4 years, told us that a poll was made and they found out that the clients preferred to be treated as “Senhor” (Mr.) or “Senhora Dona” (something like “Mrs. Lady”, and it sounds like she is the owner of a land with servants) and it was mandatory to talk to clients that way with first and last names. Why not use the first name only? For me it is so 1888… This kind of superiority treatment allows some clients talk to the assistants as they are incompetents, or merely servants and it was awful. In my team almost everyone have a degree and they were working in a callcenter because there was no job for them elsewhere. Except for me, nobody likes to work in a customer service environment.
And the following messages sent by Pankaj during the chat showed me that portuguese customers are not alone in the roughness. Don’t you think?
But didn’t end there. And that made me remember all the times I had to log out a team member to help them control their emotions. Some customers are really rude and they don’t understand that sometimes there is nothing the assistant can do right away.
Pankaj tried to solve my mobile service problem. And he did his best, even with the system database down. He couldn’t help as he wished to and we waited for more than 24 hours to our mobile service be re-establish.
And I was so impressed with his final messages that I could not even think about writing anything.
So, that’s what I will call for now on as The Pankaj Method. I’m not sure if I’ll be training a team again, or if one day I’ll coach again, but if I will, be sure that this case will be closing the introductory module.
The efforts and the willing to solve the customer complaints, shows that this voice belongs to a person with as many issues as the customer. All the customer deserves as much respect as all the Pankajs around the world.