Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Customer Service? What's It? Prognostication for Anarchy

Technology hasn't been customer friendly, meaning technology hasn't made doing business easier. It has made sales easier, look anywhere they are after your money and after it is in they move on to the next customer. Once you buy their product, you are a relic to be consigned to their rubbish dump. They haven't heard about customer support or after sales service. It is pitiful how modern companies treat customers, whereas, good corporate organisations (at least the ones I know) have built their reputation on good customer support. I have written about this before, wrote a story on it.

I spent the better part of the morning struggling with the SBI card activation process which shouldn't have taken even two minutes. Their website and IVR is pathetic. In the end I was close to tears in frustration and despair. I waited, waited, waited for a customer support executive to answer the phone. The long wait extended to 20 alarming minutes during which a syrupy voice said (not without attitude):

"We apologise for keeping you on hold. We are eager to speak to you. Please stay online."

Imagine this syrupy voice playing over and over again, something like this:

"We apologise for keeping you on hold. We are eager to speak to you. Please stay online."
"We apologise for keeping you on hold. We are eager to speak to you. Please stay online."
"We apologise for keeping you on hold. We are eager to speak to you. Please stay online."
"We apologise for keeping you on hold. We are eager to speak to you. Please stay online."
"We apologise for keeping you on hold. We are eager to speak to you. Please stay online."

"We are eager to speak to you," indeed, you are. I have no doubt. Only I would like to stuff your mouth with your card and slap it shut if I ever meet you.

Indeed, they have used the latest technology for the Interactive Voice Recording (IVR) interface, they have spent time and money programming the whole thingammajig. But couldn't they have made it simpler by giving an option to speak to a customer service executive in the first place. Dumb!

No, no, the world isn't so simple anymore. Instead of harnessing advancements in computer chip technology and their huge database capabilities for offering better services the idea now is to take your money (rob you of your money is a better term) and run. Nobody bothers to build products around services anymore. This trend is hugely disturbing, no, it's going to lead to anarchy which already prevails, I have no doubt about it.

May be, this is the raving of a crazy, mad guy. But mind it, watch it, mull it, what I say here holds the prognostication of truth, of anarchy, of what is yet to come.

1 comment:

Essayweb said...

Thanks for the differentiation between customer and business.
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