A Customer Service Story with a Quasi-Happy Ending.

A few days ago I received an email fraud alert, and I was told by my (unnamed) credit card company that someone used my card for $29.72. It sounded like someone had a decent lunch. How they get these credit card numbers; I do not know. But in any case, I was glad the company gave me an email shout-out.

The email directed me to go to the next page and complete some information like my account number, user name, and password.

I completed it and was told, “I don’t exist” in their system. It’s not a very nice thing to say, and they could have worded it better; nevertheless, I tried again and put in the account number, user name, and password again. I still didn’t exist!

So, I got on the phone to, hopefully, speak with a real agent and not wait 45 minutes. Wahla! I didn’t have to wait long on the phone and quickly spoke with a fraud alert person to whom I told the story of “not existing.” She apologized, took care of my fraud claim, and then transferred me to a customer service specialist to whom I repeated my “not existing” story

The specialist was knowledgeable, but he, too, apologized and told me, “Sometimes, when the system spots a fraud alert, it shuts down your access.” “Ok, I understand,” said I, “but since the site directed me to the page to complete the form, why would it say I don’t exist, given that I have been a card member for over 15 years?”

I asked for a supervisor and again relayed my “not existing” story to her. She took a deep breath and said, “Mr. Kaplowitz, I don’t know why the other people you spoke to did not tell you that our entire system is down and the engineers are working on it. They hope to have it back up within a few hours.

“Your entire credit card system is down”? I queried. “Your complete credit card system is down”? I queried. “Yes,” she repeated. “Has there been a data breach, and that is why my card was fraudulently used”? “I don’t think so,” she said, but I’m not a data engineer.

“Yikes. You don’t THINK SO?” I thought that was not a good answer, but I did not say it.

But I did say, “Rest assured, I’ll call you back at the end of the day. Please tell me your name, which she willingly did.”

I finally got a straight answer, but why did I have to go through two other people who could have easily given me that information? Why couldn’t the truth be told right upfront? This turns us off to a business and makes us look for alternate companies.

Does that happen at your center? Can everybody answer questions, give out relevant information, and do you tell your people of changes in written format?

Here’s a quick idea to put near the time clock or another area where employees may congregate.

Have a “POST of the DAY” where everyone can see any changes happening today, during the next week, or whatever is appropriate. Ensure you or your manager can answer any employee questions about an upcoming issue.

When everyone knows what is happening in your center, they will feel confident and empowered to treat the customer better.

And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Just sayin’


About Fred Kaplowitz
Marketing is in my DNA. I love to solve problems and meet challenges head on and I have successfully produced results for hundreds of clients. I love what I do and love helping to make my clients more successful and happier. I am a husband and father, consultant, a coach, a teacher, a motivator, a copy- writer, and a speaker. I look forward to working with anyone searching for a proven methodology out of mediocrity. May I assist you in taking your business to the next level. Please call me now @ 516 359 4874 to review your business goals and strategies.

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