Thursday, August 11, 2011

Foreign Customer Service

Customer Service today from any of the companies from whom customer service is truly needed seems to be a facade. In most cases the company has exported its customer service to third party providers in other countries. The customer service representatives usually do not have proper access to do what is needed to fix the problem. In addition they usually have not been well trained. Furthermore, they themselves are weary of the constant complaint regarding the language and culture barriers to productive communication.

The problem is real. It is not an imaginary problem that exists only in the perception of the frustrated customer. Even though the customer service representative may have spoken the English language for a lifetime, it is not the person’s primary language. Moreover the culture and geographic differences influence how people think and respond.

Even with British speakers of English the speech patterns and word usage and especially pronunciation is very different from American speakers. If the speaker is Irish or Scottish, the differences are even larger.

So the problem is not primarily the fault of the poor customer service representative in a country foreign to the calling customer. The fault is primarily the company’s. The company does not genuinely care about customer service. The company only cares about providing the facade of customer service, and doing so with the least cost that can be arranged.

In this day, even local companies, such as the Wichita Eagle newspaper, have their primary customer service phone service through the Philippines! How can someone in the Philippines know what is happening with newspaper delivery in Wichita, Kansas?

Telephone companies likewise port their phone calls everywhere except where the customer is. Cell phone providers often are the worst. The bottom line is that they don’t care whether or not the customer receives the service that has been promised. All they care about is promoting the false perception that the company cares about the customers. And this is true even when the customer service is within the USA.

And so from the banking institution to the newspaper agency to the cell phone provider, the customer is attacked with idiotic and worthless surveys. The surveys are conducted by telephone, by e-mail, and via the postal service (snail mail). And what is the intent of these surveys? Is it to improve customer service? Do these companies actually change what is wrong with and lacking in their service? No! What they do is add to the idiotic and mindless mantras that they require their customer service representatives to use in their responses to the customers’ questions. These prepared responses do not answer the questions. Neither do they improve the quality of understanding and communication. They simply present a pretense of politeness and caring. They are designed to give a false display of politeness and genuine concern while leaving the customer without any real answers or help.

Why do these companies do this? Is it merely to save money? Apparently not. So what is the real reason?

Consider the cell phone providers as an example. Over the years I have used Verizon, Cingular (which was hijacked by AT&T), AT&T, and now Cricket. I have experienced the same problems with each company: dropped calls, poor reception, handset issues, software/program issues, delayed or non-delivered voice mail, etc. I have experienced the same sad excuse for customer service with each company.

And I believe that I know why this is. It actually produces more sales for the companies!

If the customer does not receive satisfactory service, eventually the customer switches providers. Each of the providers use systems that require specific phones and accessories. Thus, they sell more phones. Some offer “free” or “discounted” phones for the contract snare. “Insurance” is offered on the phones, insurance that has a deductible that is higher than the company’s cost of the phone. The phones are designed not to be water resistant so that even heavy perspiration can eventually render the phone inoperable (and often not covered by the insurance). So the company gets to sell another phone.

In the meantime, customers are tortured with phone calls to representatives who are not properly trained and who use the language differently and therefore are unable to communicate effectively regarding technical issues that require the highest level of communication. The customer service representative receives abuse from the frustrated customers, which only makes the issue more severe. In fact, since there is no accountability for the representative, many of them simply hang up on the customer. Thus both the customer and the representative develop prejudices concerning people they have never truly met, and these are extended to their countrymen.

Meanwhile, the companies reap huge profits and their CEO’s siphon off huge bonuses.

Do I sound frustrated? Imagine that!

What frustrates me more is knowing that people continue to elect the same frauds to public office so that these companies will never be held accountable for not honoring their promises.

What frustrates me even more is knowing that in the most important matters of life, the everlasting matters, people are willfully choosing such facades and abuse. False doctrine in the churches is not only tolerated, not only accepted, but promoted and sought. And so, even in the one place where people should receive the comfort and peace that surpasses all understanding, instead they receive more pretense and abuse, often without even realizing what they are choosing for themselves.

The Lord Jesus and His apostles warned that these times would come. They warned that people would become more and more blind and non hearing and that their hearts would grow cold and that government would become corrupt beyond imagination and that the faith would be so abused and corrupted that the final days would be like the days of Noah. In the days of Noah, how many true believers remained? What was God’s answer to this? What answer does He say that He gives concerning the Last Day? In Noah’s days the world had become so corrupt that without the Lord’s intervention the last man of faith would have been overcome. Moreover the line from which the Savior would be born would have been eradicated by the enemies of the faith. The Lord saved Noah (and all the world) through water. The sinful world was washed clean through the great flood. At the return of the Lord Jesus at the Last Day, the cleansing shall be by fire. Those who have sought the destruction of the true faith and those who have been regenerated by it will be sent away forever and all sin shall be obliterated. The corruption and deception that now rules the world shall be gone and those who through faith are in Christ Jesus shall be forevermore set free from the frustration and disappointment and anguish of the lies and the sin.

John records the final word on this matter at the end of Revelation 22:

I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

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1 comment:

Gary Cepek said...

Pastor Siems,
Re: these two companion posts:
May the God of all grace, mercy, and peace in Christ Jesus, the only Savior from each and every deadly fruit of sin and its decay, grant to each of the elect the eternal perspective contained in and from His Word. Then through the faith, hope and love that He freely gives His people will listen to and reflect His warnings. They shall also receive and communicate His Good News in their daily lives. Then, indeed, they and those around them shall truly have a blessed day.

Gary Cepek