A Funny Thing Happened When I Called Customer Service…

January 6, 2011 — Leave a comment
A Funny Thing Happened When I Called Customer Service… | GloriousUnknown.com

A Funny Thing Called When I Called Customer Service

Oh the joys of calling customer service. Of which company, you ask? Oh it surely doesn’t matter. Any time someone calls that “special” department of ANY company—trust me it’s always hours of “fun.”

Yes you can grin.

I was on the phone with my iPhone’s wireless service trying to troubleshoot a slight billing error. Nothing major, just a small glitch that just needed a bit of explaining to help me understand what was going on. In the middle of that conversation, the very kind gentleman on the other end of the phone asked, “Sir, I just noticed something odd. Totally unrelated to what you called about.”

“I just noticed that you have the unlimited talk plan. Why are you still paying $99 for that service?”

Sidebar: Anyone who has an iPhone knows that the unlimited talk plan is $99. So I was confused by the word, “still.”

I asked him, “Well since I have the unlimited talk plan, I know the price is $99.” Thinking he might be trying to talk me into changing to a different plan I then assured him, “I’m happy with the unlimited talk plan I have. But thank you for asking.”

“No that’s not what I meant. I’m sure you want to keep the unlimited talk plan, but the price for it hasn’t been $99 since January 2010.”

I was stunned. I had been overpaying my wireless phone service by $30 + tax for a year. No one had ever offered to adjust the rate, even after upgrading my iPhone a few months back — OR after upgrading my internet service at home. I thought of every time I had called in during 2010 to speak with a customer service representative and no one had ever informed me of the changed monthly rate or even offered to adjust it.

A Missed Opportunity

This company missed out on a huge opportunity to make a devoted customer out of me. Even though they sold the kind of products I want to use (namely Apple’s iPhone), offered an unlimited talk plan (which I really love), and I have been a customer for nearly 5 years, I was still just a somewhat satisfied customer. I didn’t have any major complaints, but I never really had any reason to sing their praises. I was not a devoted customer.

I could have been, had I received a call like this during 2010:

“Hello this your wireless phone service. We’ve noticed that you’ve been a customer with us since 2006, and that you are a subscriber of our unlimited talk plan on your iPhone. We’d like to inform you that the pricing for that particular monthly plan has actually dropped $30 per month. We’d like to help you save money while still enjoying the service you already have. Congratulations, and thank you for choosing our service.”

Did I get a notice like this? No. Did this company profit by $360 + tax in 2010 off of my ignorance? You bet. They got their dollars, and profited from my lack of knowledge. Instead of being happy that my cell phone bill dropped by $30, I was angry. I felt cheated. Even a bit violated.

Who else has this same talk plan and is still paying the higher price?

What To Learn

How much would it have cost this wireless company to have automatically enrolled their customers (who are already paying a good amount of money each month for unlimited talk plans) in the new pricing plan? What would that cost have purchased? I can easily tell you: Purely Devoted Customers.

We would have been stunned at the graciousness of this company. They are looking out for their customers – we’d say to ourselves and any one of our friends & family. It would have been a thing to celebrate, and even brag about. Here’s a company not only providing a service, but looking out for us — helping us save money. Amazing!

The buzz that could have been generated might have even helped other users to try out this new service — bringing in more profit AND standing apart from their competition.

Would I be so easily drawn to a competitor’s product? It’s doubtful. I’d be loyal. Which is what everyone who does business wants: A loyal customer.

I was a somewhat satisfied customer before today. I am an angry customer now. I could have been a devoted customer had someone gone just an extra inch (not even a whole extra mile).

My Encouragement To You (and me!)

Go the extra mile for a customer. Regardless of the circumstances. Sure you could make a few extra bucks off of them, but imagine what could happen if you did more than you had to. It could start something big for you. In the end, it’s nice to be nice. A little kindness can go much further than you ever intended, and can pay dividends like you never imagined.

Matthew 7:12 “Do to others what you would have them do to you.”

Bill Page

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Communication design consultant, Christ-Follower, wearer of glasses, singer of songs, power-walker, & Apple enthusiast -- Resident of Disney World, Azeroth & Texas.