Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sorry, we're currently experiencing higher than normal call volumes...

Holy never ever post anymore!! I don't know why i have so much trouble finding the time to get this done, but it seems it's almost become a habit not to post. I know it really does help me clear my head, so i should do it more often... Well, anyway - I'm doing it now. 

I have had the most awesome opportunity to have to call at least 4 customer service "help" lines over the past month or so, and i must say, what a treat it's been! Two were with insurance companies, one with a bank, and the final one was with Nike+ (which really was 2 calls, one to the USA, then one with Canada). First things first - EVERY number i dialed with EVERY company had all the same response... Ya, you guessed it - we're experiencing higher than normal call volumes, etc etc. Which leads me to believe that either every human that needed to talk to them called the exact moment i called, or perhaps their call volumes are normal, but the staff too low to keep costs down, and apologize for it right at the start? Anyway, it really doesn't matter, but what does matter is the way i am treated when i actually get to speak with a human being. I mean, i was patient enough to press all the numbers i was prompted to, and waited patiently until the horrible choice of music or "did you know" help information came to a halt. I have played by their rules, so now its time to actually deal with why i was calling. How am i awarded for my patience and delay? Well, if you were the bank, you were polite, to the point and... Couldn't really give a shit. It isn't your department, or you couldn't help from where you were, and i have to contact my agent or my branch to resolve any issues i have. If you were the insurance companies you simply emailed me a bazillion kajillion forms to fill out in order to facilitate the most minor of changes. (And yes, bazillion Kajillion is a real number, and although perhaps slightly exaggerated, very close to the amount of documents i actually had to fill out.) If you were Nike, you were of split personalities. If you were in the USA, you were very polite and sympathetic to my plight. You did your absolute best to collect the facts, record them with haste and get on with finding me a resolution that i would be happy with. You would go as far as you could go, until you realized i lived around the 49th Parallel. Then you apologized for your inability to continue to help me, but gave me a reference number, and ALL the information required to contact Nike Canada. From the 1-800 number, to a CANADIAN usable reference number regarding all my call details, my original email comments, and a link to the "possible" recorded telephone conversation we had. All very EXTREMELY helpful and professional service. In fact, arguably some of the best customer service i can remember in a "help line" call. But, if you were the Canadian Nike call centre, it was all so very different. You would have telephone prompts and "press 1 for English" directions, you too would have helpful "did you know" information while i was on hold, but when you answered the phone, that is when this call was completely different from my other Nike call. You would be quick to the point, but abrupt. You would ask questions accusingly, an when given an answer you would pause and then question the answer further. I would volunteer to you the reference number i had from Nike USA and you would ignore it. I would continue answering the same questions i already answered moments and days earlier, until i once again volunteer the reference number. Then when you finally take the number, you would immediately go on the defensive and WARN me that although you are giving me a claim number, in NO WAY does that guarantee and accepted warranty resolution, nor could you even guarantee me that if it is covered under warranty that i would get back the same colour option i had originally purchased. You would then blurt out a claim number, with a mailing address, stressing that i MUST quote the claim number CLEARLY on the outside of the package, reminding me SEVERAL TIMES, before giving me the mailing address. Then reminding me one more time for good measure. Then without so much as a thank-you for supporting Nike, or thanks for calling, or have a good day, or anything, you just say, "alright thanks", and hang up. Not ask me if i could read back the all important claim number, not confirming with me if i have the mailing address correct, nothing. As a matter of fact, if we were in person, i would describe the feeling as being escorted to your front door, being shoved out, and told goodbye, while you slammed the door in my face. Ya, that is what the call felt like.

I am continually amazed on how most Canadians I talk to, describe US citizens as rude, pushy etc, but when it comes to customer service, they not only could show us a thing or two, but most likely would have to teach us EVERYTHING.

When it comes to customer service they are spot on and we are, well... Just a spot.