Service Experience

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Customer Service Lines- for what purpose?


I had an issue with a utility bill received from a public agency and thought to resolve via their customer service center rather than facing traffic and burning my  fuel to their office.

For every attempt I made to dial each of the ten (10) lines printed on the bill, all I got was automated voice messages  saying, “the number you are trying to reach is  not available” and “the number you are trying to reach is switched off”. Since I could not reach them, I had to set out on this undesirable journey.

Luckily, I didn’t meet a crowd when I arrived at their office. While waiting for my turn to be attended to, I looked around the office and  saw a number written on strips of paper pasted on the walls in the office tagged as “our customer service line”. This was quite surprising!

I could not but wonder,”Of what importance is a service line if it is only written on the walls of a service provider’s office and not on the bills distributed across the state?”

Lessons learnt?

For every business that has its customers’ interests at heart, please note that:

  • Setting up a customer service center goes beyond the provision of the facility. It has to be operational – i.e. available and able to resolve customers’ queries.
  • Non-functional lines should  be disconnected and removed from customer information.
  • If lines were assigned to dedicated customer service personnel,  they should be  held accountable for its availability at least during the working hours.
  • Customer Service lines should always be answered. On no account should you leave your calls unanswered especially if you are there. Always return all missed calls, you call never tell. It could be an emergency.
  • Don’t sound irritated, flustered or disturbed when answering a call. It sends a wrong message to the customer.
  • Proffer solutions and reassure every customer of your business’ commitment to meeting their needs as its relates to goods and/services you provide.

Always remember, customer service centers are set up to create and maintain a budding relationship with your customers.

Yours in Service,

Anu Onasanya