Customer Service is invaluable to any consumer-facing company. Scratch that, it's invaluable to any company. So, how come in so many instances there are issues surrounding poor customer service from even the most unlikely of businesses?
The latest culprit appears to be Amazon; the âvictim', a young consumer named Chris who's account looked like it was being emulated.
But what, exactly, was so wrong with his experience? And surely this can't be happening to everyone?
Well, you're right. It isn't happening to everyone, as BI points out in their experience, they've had a pretty breezy time with a Seattle-based arm of the company. It's also worth noting that Amazon is rolling out a help service for Kindle Fire users via live chat, hopefully one better than this.
However, Chris was dealing with an office located in India, and it's there that his problem wasn't resolved purely due to a lack of English and reliance upon a script to solve problems.
Now, the issue here isn't the fact that the call centre was located within India. Many companies do this, and it's beneficial to the Indian economy that this happens – although the discussion of wages is a topic for another day.
The problem lies in the fact that Chris' assistant, Farah, couldn't understand English properly – leading to the escalation of a rather serious issue of potential account phishing.
When asking Farah to disable a clearly fake account using an email address that was near identical to his own – bar the use of a â.' to separate a character – Chris was told to delete his own account. Or, he could change his password instead if he liked. Neither of which would help in removing the potential threat of being phished.
It didn't help when Chris was called âMaam' and mistaken for the fake account holder himself.
The vast majority of Farah's responses were also clearly pasted in from scripts, meaning that nothing quite made sense in conversation. Any attempts to try and talk away from the script was met with nonsensical English.
Customer Service shouldn't be some heavily-regulated operation, instead it should be about engaging and assisting the customer first. What should have happened was a natural conversation about the issue at hand, not a set of cut and pasted script lines and some poor English.
What needs to happen is that Amazon, or the many other companies this could well have happened to, educates their workforce before utilising them. If they need to speak English for resolving queries, take the time out to teach them English and encourage them to use scripts as nothing more than a guideline, not a bible.
If you're not willing to invest time and money in such a crucial element of your business, then maybe you don't care about your customers as much as you think you do.
This is Chris Williams' original transcript with Amazon:
You are now connected to farah from Amazon.com
farah:Hello. This is Farah. How can I help you today
Me:Someone created an account using my gmail account but with a “.” in it. This is still associate with my email address and is not my account. How can I delete this account?
my name is not brittni.. my name is chris williams. my actual account is ctwilliXXXXX@gmail.com
this other account was created using ct.williXXXXX@gmail.com
i believe it is some sort of phishing attempt but I don’t want this account associate with my email.
farah:yah..Im just here..but before we proceed let me check your account for security purposes okay?
mAY i KNOW THE ACCOUNT HOLDER PLEASE
Me:ok. my real account is ctwilliXXXXX@gmail.com NOT ct.williXXXXX@gmail.com – i had to password reset in order to get this account.
farah:May I know the account holder please..
Me:Account holder is Chris Williams
farah:your first and last name plese
Me:First = Chris
Last = Williams
farah:okay let me check this out for you okay?
one moment plese
farah:yah..im just here..Im so sorry for taking a long time to wait on this okay..?
ctwilliXXXXX@gmail.com ..this one is your account am I correct on this?
Me:yes… ctwilliXXXXX@gmail.com is my account.
farah:okay..Il reset your password..just check the link on it..so you can have your new password okay?
i don’t need you to reset my password
farah:OH OKAY..I ask an apology for that one..
Me:i need you to delete this “ct.williXXXXX@gmail.com” account because it is not mine.
please don’t change my password.
farah:ah yah sure..I’m not going to change your Password maam..
what is going on here?
farah:oh so sorry to call you Maam..Its okay..I got mis information in here..but let me handle this for you..
Me:can you delete the account “ct.williXXXXX@gmail.com” or not?
farah:okay..please give me another moment again..
do you understand the problem i am having or is this a lost cause?
can you please just let me know if this is a problem you can help resolve?
farah:I recommend that you delete the e-mail. For your protection, do not respond to it, and do not open any attachments or click any links it contains okay?
Me:delete my email?
did you say delete my email?
farah:one moment please let me check it further for you..
Me:ONE MOMENT? NOT SURE WHAT YOUR DEFINITION OF A MOMENT IS BUT THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FOR A LONG TIME AND YOU OBVIOUSLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE DOING.
THIS IS F—ING RIDICULOUS!
1. YOU CAN’T SPELL 2. YOU AREN’T LISTENING TO MY PROBLEM 3. YOU KEEP ASKING ME TO WAIT A MOMENT (10 MINUTES EACH TIME) 4. YOU SUGGEST I DELETE MY EMAIL (HOW THE HELL DOES THAT HELP?) 5. YOU ARE VERY UNHELPFUL.
I FEEL LIKE I’M BEING PRANKED HERE.
I WILL ASK ONE LAST TIME….
CAN YOU DELETE THIS ACCOUNT OR NOT? SIMPLE QUESTION.
farah:okay..i will refer you to our account specialist do this account you want to be deleted okay..
Me:READ WHAT YOU JUST TYPED. IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.
farah:I am really so sorry about this inconvenience that you experienced but our account specialist will handle this for you okay?
Me:YES PLEASE PUT ME IN TOUCH WITH SOMEONE… ANYONE.
farah:okay..i will refer you to our account specialist do this account you want to be deleted okay..this text is a mistake so sorry for this..
Me:WHAT THE F—
farah:What I’m trying to say here is I will refer you to our account specialist..so it will be deleted the one that you want to SO SORRY really for this..
I hope you can forgive my fault in here
Me:OK.. CAN YOU PLEASE CONNECT ME WITH AN ACCOUNT SPECIALIST.
farah:I am really Sorry for this..yes sure I will..
I am really Sorry for this..yes sure I will..
I will ask first an apology for this please..I am so sorry Brittni..let me connect you now to our account specialist okay?
Me:CHRIS MY NAME IS CHRIS I HAVE TOLD YOU THAT AT LEAST 6 TIMES.
CONNECT ME TO SOMEONE ELSE NOW
I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE TO YOU.
ARE YOU TRANSFERRING ME OR NOT?
farah:May I have your phone number please?
Me:I AM POSTING THIS CONVERSATION ONLINE. THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE. WORST CUSTOMER SERVICE I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED.
farah:I do apologize that this is taking time than usual however, let me go ahead right now and will look for another available rep to call you.
Thank you for your patience and understanding!