Great customer service is going the way of the dinosaur…sad.

The original goal of this blog was as a place for me to vent my various frustrations. I actually had more technical content in my other blog at the time. I did my reviews and my customer service rants on this blog. Over the past four years I have evolved to this Docandersen blog being my technical blog and my other blog Scottoandersen being my personal blog. The personal blog focuses on the family history project and now most of my reviews sit on that blog. This blog while starting as a place to vent about poor customer service is now my more technically focused blog.

The decline and fall of customer service is pretty remarkable. When did the relationship change? When did customer service stop being a partnership? I guess the reason for this question is when did good customer service become a surprise? It takes me a long time to decide to buy a car. I research and I evaluate the various cars that fit into what I am looking for. Like I said it takes time. Recently (about a month ago) I bought a new car. The Smart for Two was great car to have, but frankly it just wasn’t safe driving it in the DC area. So I bought a new car.

I won’t wax poetic about the process. I get that car dealerships and mortgage companies are trying to cut the paperwork you have to sign. They are trying to reduce the time you have to spend buying the car or house and increase the time you enjoy either. So, while it was the shortest car buying experience I have ever had, I won’t spend a lot of time talking about that. Its de rigor now for them to cut time out of the buying process.

What I would like to talk about is customer service. After the new car I drove it home. Like I said it takes a long time to pick a car, so I was extremely happy to get the car I got. The day after I bought the car, the sales person called me. Just wanted to make sure I was happy. I was and I told him. I actually wrote a review of the process on Yelp, which I do for really good and really poor customer service experiences. So here is the difference, three days after I got my new car the service manager called to introduce himself. Five days after another called to make sure I was happy with the car. All in all four people called me and my salesperson called me three times.

When did good customer service like that become unexpected? I was flattered, happy and even more sure I had made the right car choice and the right dealership choice after that experience. But I started thinking when did that become abnormal? When did it become unexpected to have good customer service? I started this blog because of the service I got from Vonage. I was considering VOIP solutions 10 years ago. I evaluated Vonage and used it for a year. They nicely continued to bill me a YEAR after I cancelled. They never bothered to tell me during the cancellation process that you had to cancel the service two different ways. You couldn’t just call the one group and cancel you also had to call a second group.

So I started ranting about their customer service. Shockingly they reversed their policy and refunded the money from the second group that I hadn’t cancelled. I suspect they have a call once, cancel all policy now. They didn’t then. I have had bad customer service from a number of companies. The thing  that makes me sad is more bad service lately than good service. When did good customer service become a luxury? I am going to continue to laud the customer service of a number of companies on Yelp. If I have a great experience I am going to Yelp it! If I have a bad meal I am also going to add it on Yelp. But for other companies if I Yelp its going to be because of Great Customer Service. Make my experience good and I will give you 4 or more stars on Yelp.

Sad. That great customer service has to be called out.

.doc

customer service advocate.