Wednesday, January 17, 2007

CSRs are an important customer-company touchpoint

I purchased a Dell Laptop last week after my previous Dell laptop was stolen. I made the purchase online and inadvertently added an $80 car adaptor. I have no use for a car adaptor, other than throwing it at another driver, and I could find cheaper substitutes for that, so I called Dell the other night to set up a return.

“My name is Mary,” said the Dell customer service representative from India. “How may I help you?” Her name is Mary like mine is Nipeadooleepasling.

“Mary, I’d like to return a car adaptor.” She told me she could help me, and after ten minutes of providing information that she painstakingly repeated back to me in her adorable, chirpy, heavily accented voice from thousands of miles away, we got disconnected.

I called back, this time reaching “Susan.” I was making the call from my cell phone, wearing an ear piece while eating frozen yogurt at Costco. I finished my treat, and judging by the repetition and confirmation of every word I uttered, I figured the call was going to take a while. Spying a guitar on the far wall, I grabbed it, tuned it, sat on a piano bench and started playing. Twenty minutes later, Susan, in her adorable, chirpy, heavily accented voice said, “I don’t know why we’re getting that hold music, Mr. Robert.” I laughed and told her I was playing guitar. “Really? Huh.” was her response. Bored out of my mind, I asked her if she had any requests. “I do not understand. I am helping you resolve your issue. Do you have a question?”

After ten more minutes of her tapping at computer keys and me strumming guitar strings, Susan told me she had to transfer me.

Enter “Diane,” and a repetition of the entire process. I had no patience at this point. “You’re in India, Diane?”


“Doesn’t it blow your mind that I’m thousands of miles away, strumming a guitar and we’re talking? We’re worlds apart, yet we hear each other.”

“Yes. I can help you return your item.”

“Diane, are you married?”

Pause. “I need your full phone number, area code first.”

“Diane, are you married?”

Suppressed giggling. “No.”

“If we weren’t so far apart, we could go bowling. Do you bowl, Diane?”

“No. Do you have your order or customer number?”

Ten minutes later, Diane asked if I could hear the hold music. I told her I was playing guitar. She laughed. “You play very well.” I told her I practiced a lot that night. She then told me she had to transfer me to the right department.

Next up: Tina. We straightened everything out in three minutes, and she told me anyone I spoke to previously could have set up a return. I told her about my long wait, and she offered me a Dell coupon. I got $150 and a good amount of work in on Ionian scales. Dell’s a great company. They care about their customers.


At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking you were about to put Jeff Jarvis out of business, but he agrees with you about the changes made.


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