You know, it's all about customer service. If you are in business and you don't understand that, you're doomed. I have been arsed about by phone services, utility companies, government departments, video-stores, take-away joints and I've almost never been impressed with the limp, stale rehearsed rubbish conversations the people on the end of the line have with me. In person, it's even worse. The snail-lazy waitress, the gossipy sales assistant, the interminably bright-looking but vacuous staff at mobile phone outlets...
I have so often wanted to bang their heads together, screaming 'the customer is always right. I am always right. You are a moron...and I know because I'm the customer and I'm always right! Got it?'
I don't expect much. Just prompt attention, a smile and maybe some glimmer of understanding that I am an individual with individual needs. If you can't answer my question, try harder or find someone in your godforsaken business that can! Look me in the eye. Don't chew gum. Don't ever look at your watch while talking to me and if you answer your i-phone during our interaction I will seriously consider beating you to death with it.
And then, tonight, I was bowled over by the most over-the-top attention from a Telstra customer service operator. I'll say that again. A TELSTRA CUSTOMER SERVICE OPERATOR!
First up he greeted me with that tell-tale honky Californian accent with just a spicy flavour of something more exotic. He sounded like a cross between Brad Pitt, George Clooney and that kid in Slumdog Millionaire. It was a tantalising mix. He asked me how my day had been and then started complaining that his computer was far slower than the human brain. He was funny and had me in stitches. A Telstra consultant with a sense of humour, who would have thought!
I was momentarily tongue-tied. And then after continuing on to have a hilarious conversation about the human brain and how it is no match for technology....we got around to my query. He then talked me through the whole process of what he was doing, talking to himself but including me - 'I scroll down, press enter, waiting....new screen....option....scroll down and press...yes...very good'. It was weird and entertaining and made me feel like I was right there in New Delhi, sitting on his lap! And here's the rub....he kept calling me 'Love' with a lilting, lingering rumble that made my belly turn.
He was so attentive, I felt that he had taken the job with Telstra just so he could talk to me tonight. He made me feel that important.
To top it all off...when we ended our business, I thanked him for being so very helpful and he said.
'Thank-you Miss, love you!' LOVE YOU!
And that was that. We will probably never meet again. It was like a Hollywood movie.
I went on to do the telephone survey that Telstra offers after a customer service call and I gave the call a big fat ten out of ten and when given a space to say something...I raved about the operator....maybe a little bit too much.
But Telstra has in the past been one of the most annoying services to deal with on the phone. This one little bright spark....lit up the entire company's reputation in my eyes.
It made me smile, giggle and share the story on social media.
Customer service, done well, can be amazing!!!