I spoke with my Mom last night. During our weekly conversations she enjoys reviewing the week, both the good and the bad. This call was all about a recent customer support experience she had with her utility company. I settled into a comfortable chair and donned my headset because I work with customers at Gyrus Systems and I wanted to hear her story.
A little bit of background. My Mom is nearly 80 years old and swore off technology after the wringer washer was invented, which she bought two of so she’d have a backup. I’ve been happy to fulfill the role of “all around tech support guy” when she needs help with the tech she does use. Some issues I recall assisting her with in the past are: troubleshooting the reason why her flashlight doesn’t work; replacing the batteries in her cordless phone; discussing why her garden hose is leaking; why DVD’s aren’t playing (Dad bought the player); and helping with cable modem configuration. At times I’m unavailable though, so then she calls a help line for official support.
Surprisingly Mom uses the web, so she searched for a support number but failed to find one. Chat was available but she’s old-fashioned and wanted to speak with somebody. Finally she dialed 411 and ultimately connected to the company’s voicemail. She experienced the same frustration we all have with poorly configured, auto-answering, and multilevel voicemail systems. (Perhaps they are ingeniously designed to never connect a caller to an actual person?) After several aborted attempts and redials she finally connected with a person……located at an overseas call-center.
My mother is a little hard of hearing. This fact, combined with a poor quality overseas connection and a person that was not a native English speaker created much frustration during that two-hour phone call. Additionally the tech simply asked my Mom questions from a script and responded without truly understanding the problem or solution. The patient and friendly Support Tech wasn’t the issue, the problem was a design failure of the Support System. Mom's problem was finally resolved, but the experience left a bitter taste in her mouth, and a negative support experience that she will discuss with anybody that listens.
Mom’s experience reinforces the reasons why Gyrus Systems, a Learning Management System (LMS) provider, does not rely on voicemail as its default method of answering calls. We promise excellent support and have designed a Support System that delivers it. Real people that are actual employees of Gyrus Systems pick up the phone. Gyrus Systems also treats each call uniquely, because each call IS unique: No customer requesting assistance is in the same situation as another customer, thus both the responses and resolution cannot be scripted.
Technology will have problems, so companies must provide customer support. The question is whether the company invests in and creates an environment of superior or inferior customer support. As Mom discovered, it’s easy to determine the type of support a company provides with the very first support call. Gyrus Systems’ customers can state with confidence that we provide them with superior support, not only because we do not rely on voicemail or scripts, but because of the personal attention that every support call receives. It’s the promise we make to customers during the sales process and we continue to deliver on that promise.