Most of us are paddling the same canoe when it comes to customer service at our ISP/Phone Company. We dread the process of calling the 800 number because we get a different rep from the last time, explain the reason for our call and then start the process over each time we are transferred. Personally, I would consider paying a little extra each month to have access to a dedicated CSR and avoid this process entirely. Imagine the time saved and value gained from this.
This valued CSR could:
- Provide detailed account information
- Handle service requests and trouble reports
- Provide valuable feedback and updates on existing tickets
- Help add or delete services
- Facilitate an office move
- Answer general questions
- Provide rate adjustments
- Re-term contracts
Unfortunately only the larger VIP business accounts enjoy this treatment. Small and even medium-sized accounts are asked to call into Customer Service to get any of these needs addressed. The wait-time and repeated explanations can be agonizing.
Below are some tips in how to establish a relationship with a dedicated ISP or Phone company representative. For starters,
Avoid the 800 Number
The rep on the other end of the call is not going to give you their email address. Most likely they have been trained to avoid giving it out or they were never given one. Their job is to be helpful but also to "churn" calls. Try starting with a customer support email address or even a chat function. The hope is to find a rep who is helpful and untethered from the Contact Center stress of a calls-per-hour quota. Create a situation that requires follow up, ask for an email address and stress that you don't want to have to explain the situation over again. This should help land that all-important email address or direct phone number.
Give Them a Reason to Talk to You
You catch more flies with honey. You are going to get better responses to requests that show a glimmer of promise to the carrier. Mention that you want to discuss the steps to add services or increase bandwidth. Carriers are always looking for an opportunity to add recurring revenue or re-term a contract. You will most likely get a qualified rep eager to help answer any questions. Find out the steps needed in these scenarios and then keep that person's contact info to follow up with them when the time is right. Check in from time to time to keep the connection.
The Best-Case Scenario
You will be assigned a rep if you are planning to upgrade your services, re-term your contract or move your office to another location. In any of these scenarios it is important to note and keep the contact information of whichever rep is assigned. From that point, even if the rep is assigned to another order, you will be able to get a referral to another rep who handles requests more general in nature.
Now this is what we are really looking for. A qualified rep that can give us personalized and effective service outside of the 1-800-HOLDPLS dance that we all avoid like a traffic jam. Hopefully these tips will help you find that special someone and you both will ride happily off into the sunset.