A theme that seems to be emerging on this blog is that there are some great people working for companies with notoriously bad reputations for customer service. These great people stick out from the crowd and deserve recognition because they are so exceptional. A case in point.
Our new radio station needed a funky phone number...
We called Bell Canada, our provider of all things telephone in Canada. They are one of those mega-companies with a list of unbelievably bad customer experiences to their credit. We’ve had battles with them in the past, but because they provide an integral part of our broadcast infrastructure, we keep dealing with them. The first go around with a “customer service representative” to get the new phone number had me pulling out what little hair is left and screaming at the phone after slamming it down into its cradle. To search for a new number would be $150 for the transaction and $35 for every number we asked them to search.
“Is 519-555-1077 available?”
“Let me check sir.....No it’s not available.” Cha-ching $35
“How about 519-555-MIXX?”
“Let me check sir.....No it’s not available.” Cha-ching, another $35 in Bell’s already ample pockets.
“This is stupid. Is there any other way of doing this, that doesn’t cost us a small fortune?”
“Can you just search through all of your available numbers to see if there is anything that would be easy to remember for a radio station listener?”
“No sir, you must provide the number for us to search.”
I gave up in frustration. Although the lady was very polite and probably felt because she had followed the rules that she had given good customer service, it fell short of customer satisfaction.
We ended up getting a phone number from a local service provider that worked moderately well. Fast forward one year. The staff are getting frustrated with the number we ended up with because the locals won’t call it for contests. So I assigned the task of a new number to my wife Carolyn. She phones Bell Canada and gets connected with “customer service representative” Dan.
Carolyn launches into the explanation of what we’re looking for expecting to be stonewalled again.
“Cool!” says Dan, “Let’s see what we can find.”
“Before we get into this process, how much is this going to cost us?”
“Thirty five dollars.”
“For every number you search?”
“No, just if I find you a number.”
See the difference? This guy knew intuitively how to serve the customer properly, still within the rules. Did they find the number? No, but this is where Dan really shone.
“I’m going to give you my direct number here at Bell, so you can call me next week to see if any funky numbers have been released.”
“Any extra charge for this service?”
No, just $35 when we find you a number.”
They’ve now been talking together for three weeks and still haven’t found a number, but he’s as confident as ever that they will.
Bell needs more Dans.