Customer Complaints

There is a small percent of customers who are never satisfied with the price, quality of product or service and will constantly demand to “talk with the supervisor, manager, president or owner”. Hopefully you are not one of those folks.

For the rest of us consumers in rare occasions we might find ourselves in a situation where an escalation is necessary. If you need to ‘go up the chain of command’ always be polite, factual (specific) and non emotional. Give the person an opportunity to resolve your issue.

If you are on the receiving end of this complaint listen carefully, take notes, ask for clarification of issue and try not to be defensive. Once the issue is defined attempt to give your customer confidence that you have the ability to resolve.  If it is going to take some time (order parts, etc.)  provide this information on the initial contact if known.  Follow up during this waiting period to let them know the updated status.  If not, they will probably escalate above you.  It is always best to get resolution as close to the starting group as possible.

A final thought.  Most people will go to the last person who ‘Helped’ them.  So if they had to call the president of the company to get the last issue resolved, they will start there for their next complaint no matter how minor  it is or if it even relates to the previous contact.



Customer Service Results – Part 4 of 4

Today I will give you my thoughts on:

Before 5 PM Appointment and After 5 PM Appointment
From time to time you need to look at what kind of appointments your customers are requesting. In order to match your mobile workforce to the load (and avoid overtime expense) you might need to schedule employees to report to work later, it can also eliminate expense by scheduling some of your employees to work on weekend, with a day off during the week.

No Access
This might be one of the most important measurements. A “No Access” is when your employee gets to the customer’s location and there is no way to get to the equipment for trouble shooting and repair. This hits your expenses by having wasted time, vehicle mileage etc. It will require a subsequent dispatch and potential customer dissatisfaction. If this happens often you should review your procedures for setting the original appointment and process for getting the customer’s understanding and agreement for the date and time.

More Facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutubeFacebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinyoutube

Customer Service Results – Part 3

Today I will give you my thoughts on:

Subsequent Reports

This is an example of a customer’s second (or more) calls about the same problem before the first repair case was ‘closed’. These need to also be reviewed for reason the problem was not corrected within the customer’s expectations. These delays might be the result of needing to order a replacement part, etc. In most cases the customer will not call in repeatedly if they are kept informed of the status and projected resolution time. It is better for you to contact them with the relevant status than have them call in and the person answering the call has no idea of what is going on.

Installation Reports

By definition is any customer complaint with the first 30 days after a new installation. Poor installation quality could be the cause. A random inspection of new installations by the manager might pick up areas where more training is needed. You might be surprised by the reception from your customer when you arrive and let them know that you want to inspect the job and check on their satisfaction. Don’t assume that all instances are the fault of your employee. “Infant Mortality” is an industry term used for electronic components that fail shortly after being put in service. If you are experiencing frequent component failures in the first 30 days, you need to report to your vendor.

Repair Reports

Same as above. Any customer complaint received within 30 days of a repair visit. Same issues as above with training, etc. And follow up Quality inspections will help. Also as above it might not be an error on the part of your technician. It might be completely unrelated to the previous issue. However, if you are having many it is worth looking at the ‘root cause’ of the problem.


Customer Service Results – Part 2

Today I will give you my thoughts on:

Missed Appointments

Your customers expect your technician to show up at the agreed time. This is a commitment that you will have the right person, with the right tools, equipment and skills to complete the assigned task. It is also a commitment for the customer to be available and allow access to their space. If this doesn’t happen it can lead to Customer Comments, Subsequent Reports and No Access which will be discussed later.

In a perfect world your planned daily work for each employee would go off without a hitch. Your dispatcher would be like the conductor of a ballet where at every exact moment the right note was being played and every dancer would be in the precise position. However, more often than not it is more like a hockey game with players in unpredictable locations. Disruptive events such as an employee calling in ‘sick’, vehicle problems, a previous job took longer than expected, I could go on all day with other examples. If you are the dispatcher you certainly know what I am talking about. Your system for Work Orders might have a way to ‘flag’ missed appointments, if so, you might want to do an analysis of these cases to see if your loading plan might need to change.

Customer Comments

Occasionally a customer will call in with a positive comment such as “Your employee was on time, professional and did a great job!” More often they will complain about the person dispatched or say something like “he left his ladder here” or “drove through my flower bed”. Here again if your system has a way of capturing these remarks, you need to review the good and bad. Give recognition to the individual who gets praise and training or counseling to the other.


Customer Service Results – Part 1


Prior to the break up of the Bell System, AT&T published monthly Customer Service performance reports on each local Central Office (the first place your calls are switched). These results were distributed throughout the entire Bell System and were called the “POR” (Plant Operating Results). These details were then summarized at the city, division, state and company level. A manager could see how they were performing compared to other organizations anywhere in the US. Often a managers performance reviews, salaries and promotions were influence by these KPI (Key Performance Indicators)

The elements that were tracked were called MCSIRBAN, an acrostic for:
M issed Appointments
C ustomer Comments
S ubsequent Reports
I nstallation Reports
R epair Reports
B efore 5 PM Appointment
A fter 5 PM Appointment
N o Access

In future post I will discuss each of these in some detail