By: DeoVonte “Deo” Means
I utterly HATE writing about myself because it comes across so pompous and aggrandizing; yet this is a situation I felt compelled to share my thoughts on. So regardless of our socio-economic status; we strive to commodify all of our assets to ensure that regardless of past misgivings; we are currently embracing a mindset whereas we will be responsible for our current responsibilities and luxuries. We strive hard and sacrifice to pay rent, mortgage, car- note, cell-phone bill, credit cards, internet and etc. It may not always be the most advantageous deal, but we tend to settle on it because at this stage of life we are most inclined to four variables. Convince, Efficiency, Superb Customer Service and Cutting Edge Technology. Theses are the four characteristics that define us as “upwardly mobile” constituents. So allow me to cut the eloquence and give it to you raw. I am a six year client of AT&T…my monthly bill is a firm $180.00 a month. I can’t negotiate or barter my way out of this and I don’t need you to inform me of my ways or options to mitigate or escape this expense. See I‘ve willingly allotted this as a monthly expense, based solely off the fact that regardless if I could perhaps gain the same service through a local carrier, with half the rates; or Bonequisha as the hook-up, I’d sill rather pay the same few extra pennies to ensure those same four fundamental attributes listed above…. convince, efficiency, superb customer service and cutting edge technology. We have a monetary exchange for a highly sophisticated product and service. I am highly aware that you have those who sign onto your product/service agreement with the mindset of serving you and getting the most with little or no compensation. Hell, for argument sake, you may embrace a highly intricate vetting process; but you still may have a few clients to slip thru with the intent to rack up over $1000.00 in payment arranges and promises to pay, while all the time receiving services with no intent to reciprocate their end of the bargain… So I call…, with plastic in hand, prepared to deliver on my payment arrangement 3 days in advance. Yet you greet me with a first based, customer service rep that’s not only foreign, but his English is very much “18 hour course, pass this test and then you’re certified”…As he embark to take my payment, his verbillity is not only challenged but he manages to thickly produce one word while followed by 16 more that are not only indecipherable but comes across to the customer as pure English gibberish…..blahough blouagh blaugh blougha “credit card number”…. I’m sitting in front of my friends having cocktails; but more importantly, I’m trying to make sure I’m not being an asshole or a spoiled “Yuppie”. I place the call on speaker phone and them (my friends), immediately fall out laughing within seconds……
Here is my plight. I, nor we (my peers), shop at Saks, Neiman’s or Barneys because we merely have an insatiable desire for expensive clothing. We shop there because we have an insatiable appetite for quality and superb customer service. Even if it means a few extra dollars…. As an analyst, I would even argue; when you are producing a product, if you want to be hailed in the respectable and applaudable echelons of your entity; your first face, customer service business-line, should be top tier…See, a willing and paying customer should never have to come into contact with someone whom he/she can’t even effectively communicate with on the surface level. This is not “shade” to the business process or your staff. But I would like to remind you, if I applied for a position and did not have not only a functional: yet advanced knowledge of Microsoft office; I probably wouldn’t be hired. I get it! You are cutting cost, so instead of hiring those friends of mines that would GLADLY speak perfect English while processing our payments or concerns; you’d rather appear to be, fiscally responsible and outsource to 3rd world countries and give them an 18 hour course on English for 5 bucks an hour. But see that’s thing that got me scratching my head at your management department. See, any qualified and successful executive will tell you. There are many methods of cutting cost and lowering your bottom-line. But the one area in which not only fully underwrite and highly invest in, is your front-line, customer service department. These are the kids bringing in your coins! Once again, they will gladly remit their inflated end of the bargain, but you have a job to do too. Make them feel lovely!!! It may appear “extra” at first….maybe even a liability….but trust me, it will pay off with a happy and continuous client.
Once again, regardless of the designer they may hold, I’m not sure me and my peers would make Neiman’s ’, Saks or Barney’s our home if we were greeted by some high school, part-time, sales rep who didn’t know the difference between a cotton and knit; nor D&G versus Dolce and Gabbana. My message to the community is this. If you’re gonna put forth a product then make sure it is at the highest level, with an intrinsic concentration on customer service…There are those of us out there willing to pay and do our part but you can’t possibly ask for a coin and support when your product and customer service is deplorable…no, I’ll say laughable…… And yes, this blog will be forwarded to the corporate offices of AT&T…I, DeoVonte Means expect only the BEST….Thy Will Be Done….Deo…..