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Gone With the Wind – the Rhett Butler guide to Customer Service…

Yes it’s time to rant – again, and you will understand me when I say it started when I was dealing with a phone provider….

The failure to resolve the issue, the failure to keep me in the loop as to the progress and the failure frankly to give a rats and make me just wait.    And wait.      And wait just a little more leading my sense of almost homicidal frustration. (Thankfully I have over my years of working behind the Iron Curtain in Russia acquired the skill of patience to soften those homicidal tendencies!)

Of course this is the exact moment of me to regale you with a story from Mother Russia a number of years ago…

In the old days of Russia, when almost every necessity was in short supply, there is a tale of a man who waited 5 years to rise to the top of the list of those entitled to buy a car – yes back then Russians were ‘chosen’ for car ownership…weird I know…

Well this man fills out the required 20 forms, makes his deposit at the Dept. of Transport and is told “Your car will be delivered in 3 years’ time’

Being the polite Russian he is he asks “Will that be in the morning of the afternoon?”

The officious Transport employee bluntly asks ‘What possible difference could that make?”

The concerned Russian quietly replies “Well the plumber is coming in the morning”

So, back to my rant… unlike the Russian, I don’t have 5 years let alone waiting 3hrs 58mins (the time it takes to watch Gone With The Wind) to wait for someone to

  1. A) Answer my call…OR
  2. B) Give me an answer…OR
  3. C) FIX MY BLOODY PROBLEM!

We have all been there – been made to wait for what seems like copious amounts of our valuable time to be finalised answered with

“Sorry we are busy and we’ll call you back”

We are promised a “free quote” – like who pays to get a price – seriously…???…!!! And even if we paid would we get it any quicker?

Or we hear “Oh the paperwork is with …” – yep it’s out of their hands and they’re already washing them!

And this IS a serious issue right here in Australia – I call it the “Rhett Butler School of Customer service” – or the “Frankly, my dear I don’t give a damn” approach

And it’s the word “approach” that is significant here – it’s not a word that is said, but a tone of voice; it’s not an action but the inaction that causes us as customers that frustration, that moment of wanting to reach through the phone and …. Well let’s just leave it there shall we!

Am I alone in this? Am I alone in feeling that our customer service – or lack thereof – has crossed a line of downright rudeness and it’s almost irrespective of the service, lawyer, accountant, retailer, manufacturer, bank or the Friday night dinner provider that we are paying for…?

The words customer and service aren’t connecting… and as for that phone connection and the provider… well I’m still waiting…

In the meantime, while I wait for them to fix my problem, I’ll think of a few more stories from my time behind what used to be the Iron Curtain.

Alan Slater (a.k.a. Alan Slaterovsky)

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