When service providers forget they’re providing a service.
You know what – no! I’m not doing…
When service providers forget they’re providing a service, you’re going to have mad clients.
Have you ever had one of those days where everything is telling you that you shouldn’t be working? Like a little rock that starts rolling down a hill, collecting dirt until it becomes a boulder and if you don’t stop – you’re going to hit something hard!
That’s me today. After getting this blog written, I’m checking out. Here’s why.
Today we had a scheduled power outage at home which is fine. As a virtual provider, I’m prepared for this and simply take my laptop down to my favourite local café, using my phone to hotspot internet.
And I love this café. They always make me feel so welcome, and their food is awesome. It’s so worth leaving my home office for.
But today, not long after I started working, I got a text from my mobile provider saying I’d reached my limit for the month and they were adding on an extra gig automatically (for $10) until my new month commenced (which is only two days away).
All good – I’ve had this before, and I didn’t think much of it.
No more than five minutes later, I got another text saying I’d used the extra gig and they’d be adding another gig for $10 once again. This continued every 5 minutes over the next half an hour.
I was baffled. I had no idea what could be zapping my data, so I rang my service provider to find out what was happening.
Guess what their first words were? ‘You’re using extra data’. Wow – they are on their game! I had to explain that I guessed that but that it didn’t make any sense. They put me on hold (no surprise there) and as they did, ‘Bing’, another text message with another $10 charge!
When they came back, they offered me a 50% discount on the charge, assuming I must be using data but not wanting to pay. Of course, I said that’s not good enough as I wasn’t using data and want all the charges waived.
I was placed back on hold. ‘Bing, bing, bing’ – more money was added to my bill.
Honestly, the solutions they attempted to provide were ridiculous. I could go onto an unlimited plan for less than what I’m paying now, but I’d have to pay out my current phone and usage plan – my bill would be higher for nine months.
My lovely morning of working in my favourite café had turned into the angry looking woman who’d slammed shut her laptop, angrily sipping her soy hot chocolate (which is amazing) and trying to make the service provider listen to me when I wasn’t on hold.
While on hold for the umpteenth time, I couldn’t work out why this service provider wasn’t doing more to help their long-term client. If you’ve got cheaper packages offering more data – why haven’t you offered it to a loyal client without making them pay out their original payments.
Mobile providers (in this case) seem to put more effort into obtaining new clients than keeping existing ones happy – and this must cost them a fortune!
In this case, told them I wasn’t paying the $80 excess fee which had been added to my account, and no, I wasn’t signing up to a new contract with them because honestly, they’d annoyed me and I wasn’t impressed. If I had to pay out my contract anyway, I wouldn’t be solving my problem, just extending it!
And they still hadn’t told me why it happened or offered an apology. It would have been lovely to hear that I was in fact right, and their system was playing games. It’s the little things sometimes.
Are you providing your clients with the best service?
As virtual assistants, you need always to remember that it’s not about the data – it’s the service.
It’s about easing people’s pain in the way you work and deliver the solution. It’s not about simply handing over data with no care or liability.
Sometimes you’ll get frustrated clients like I was today. And maybe it wasn’t your fault personally, but the potential solution is yours to deliver.
Systems don’t always work, people don’t always do what they say they’ll do, and communication can fail. But it’s about working with people to find a solution that eases the pain, strengthens loyalty and trust, and maintains quality relations.
What are you doing in your business to maintain your clients?