So, in case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t done a post in a while. This is for good reason. Verizon left me without a phone or DSL for exactly one week. Now, I would like to say this is an isolated incident, but it is unfortunately just another round in the joy of being a Verizon customer.
About every eight months, we loose our phone and internet service. And every time it takes a week to get it resolved. The funny thing is that it is the same issue each time. I call, tell them it is a problem on the pole. They dispatch someone to come three or four days later. They check the house and the basement and determine that yes, it is a problem on the pole. They dispatch a “splicer.” He doesn’t show for two or three days. I pitch a fit and then it is resolved right before the end of the day on a Friday or Saturday. The resolution (according to Verizon)? They needed to create a new splice. Big freakin’ shock.
Where we live we only have copper, so there is no Fios in our future. Here is the biggest joke. As I ask others about their service with companies like Comcast and Cablevision, they have similar thoughts I have about Verizon. “The service is great, but their customer service sucks.”
Customer Service. Let’s think about this term. Service to and for the customer. These large companies call it “customer service” and have “customer service departments,” but do they really care? Honestly, I doubt it.
I remember as a kid, my mother going to East Orange to the “phone company” (in the good ‘ol days of Ma Bell) to pay a bill, resolve an issue or exchange a piece of equipment. You know the people who worked there and they knew you. They were your neighbors and members of the community. Now? You have no idea where you are calling and more than half the time, it is on the other side of the world.
Small businesses understand that a big part of their business’ success directly relates to their service to the customer. As small businesses become major companies, customer service seems to fall by the wayside.
Companies like Orvis, LL Bean, Starbucks and Cabela’s are a few exceptions that come to mind. These companies never forgot what customer service is all about. Why? They have a passion for what they do and that passion shines through each and every day to their customers.
How much money is wasted by big businesses managing customer complains and screw-ups? Companies like Verizon should consider taking a page or two from the playbooks of Cabela’s and the like. Ultimately, they would have better customer loyalty and a more satisfied customer base.