Sometimes you can’t Win for Losing
Even though we do call center consulting we are all customers too. I had the opportunity yesterday to call Bell Canada to assist a client with some routing changes on one of their toll free numbers. There were some questions as to which carrier had the number and after some back and forth we unearthed a Bell bill with the 800 # in questions listed. “Ah ha, said I, now the rest of the work making the routing change will be easy”. How wrong I could be, would be proven out over time.
As there was no business number to call identified on the Bell bill I called the main call center number ( 310-BELL). No I have had previous dealings with Bell call centers and some particularly poor interactions with some centers when the calls were offshored so I did have some trepidation as I dialled the number. The call was answered quickly, and the women who I spoke with did a great job listening, asking probing questions and restating my requirement. I was placed on hold twice, both times after asking permission, so she could look up the account and ask her Supervisor for guidance. After she returned to the call she informed me that she could not assist me in making the routing changes and that I would have to speak with the account team assigned, she suggested that she would transfer me to the account team and provided me with the phone number in case I had to call back. This was going quite well and the call had been a pleasure.
Once I was transferred the problems began…”Sorry this mailbox is full, please call back later”, click and I was disconnected. After more than 10 minutes getting this far, i wasn`t happy with that outcome and without any other options since I couldn`t leave a voice mail I called the original call center back. Once again a polite, professional agent spoke with me and after I recounted my story to date, she put me on hold to research the problem. When she came back on the line she sounded as amazed as I was that the only number she could find to give me was the one with the full mailbox and there was no email address or other points of contact.
Of course after many more calls and escalating outside of the center we were able to get the work completed, but this just shows you that the goodwill created by even the best customer service call center experience can be destroyed in a matter of seconds if the rest of the organization isn’t aligned to provide the same quality of service.