What To Do When Things Go Wrong

I'm Mad As Hell, and God's Not Gonna Take It!
Image by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com via Flickr

My Internet broke this morning. I called Time Warner. The electronic voice asked what the problem was. I said, “my internet doesn’t work.”

It said, “there are no outages in your area.” The next question? “Do you have access to the Internet?” No!!! I just said that!

Waiting and waiting

Next, I’m on hold for 25 minutes. Oh, and of course, while I wait there are ads trying to sell me digital phone service (sure, so I couldn’t call and complain).

After that someone comes on and asks for my name and address (you have my number, you have my records, why do you need this?).

Pointing fingers

Then they blame Earthlink.  I ask, how long until it’s fixed?  They don’t know. But they gave me Earthlink’s number (since I couldn’t look it up!).

So I call Earthlink. Which also has an electronic system, one which doesn’t recognize the phrase, “when will my internet work?” So, I say, “my internet doesn’t work.” The electronic voice tells it’s not their fault and to call Time Warner. And gives me the number.

So, I go back to the menu, ask for a human. It makes me wait. And wait. Until finally another electronic voice tells me that they’re having a problem and hope to have it fixed in an hour.

Arghhh!!!! Now that I’ve torn all my hair out (please send Rogaine – or a wig – auburn please)….

The right way

Is this a good way to treat customers? Not really.

Mistakes and problems happen.  But it’s your response that makes the difference in how people feel about you.  I released a new product to my newsletter subscribers last week (coming soon).  There was a problem with one sale; she couldn’t download it and e-mailed me.

Respond quickly and offer help

First thing I did was email her back, saying,

“Well that stinks.  Here’s what I’m going to do.  Since I don’t want you to have to wait, I’ll upload the file to dropsend (which is a service for emailing large files).  This should take a few minutes.  You’ll get an email from them once it’s done, with instructions on how to get the file.

Thanks for letting me know.  I’m off now to investigate with e-junkie.”

I took care of the upload, sent her the file and went off to straighten things out with e-junkie.  My customer got her purchase,was delighted with the quick response, and learned about a new tool (dropsend).  And of course now, if there’s another glitch, the file is already uploaded and all I have to do is send it.

Problems happen

Problems and mistakes happen.  If there’s a problem (and you know there’s a problem), put that message up first.  ‘Hi, we’re having a problem.  We hope to get it fixed in 20 minutes.  If your service doesn’t come back on, please call us again.  Or, press 5 to speak to a person right away. What if Time Warner had done that?

P.S.  Speaking of gremlins in the interwebs, yesterday’s survey link got farkled.  It’s fixed now.  Please take a few minutes to fill it out (it’s quick).  Thanks! Here’s the link: <a href=”https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dEpmVkxrTklQTUJCSXNZRldNOFdpd0E6MA”>Feedback Form</a>