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The Shocking Difference

I recently had the opportunity to compare and contrast two different fortune 500 companies, in the same industry, and how they handle customer service issues. The problem; a payroll tax filing was rejected by a state taxing agency. Here are the gory details:

Company 1

  • Me: Here is the problem.
  • Them: We’ll pass that along to our tax department and will get back to you.
  • (Repeat this conversation four or five times over several months)
  • Me: (Lots of yelling, screaming, swearing). Why don’t you just credit my fees and I’ll pay the (expletive) fine myself?
  • Them: Ok.

Company 2

  • Me: Here is the problem (same problem as with company 1).
  • Them: Mr. Palmer, we need you to stay on hold with us until the problem is resolved.
  • Me: OK.
  • Them: (An hour later) Mr. Palmer, we apologize that took so long, but here is how we fixed your problem. We need you to confirm in your software once everything has gone through and we’ll follow-up with you this afternoon.
  • Me: Cool.
  • Them: (Later that day I receive the promised phone call) Mr. Palmer, did everything go through correctly.
  • Me: Yes it did. Can I kiss you on the mouth?
  • Them: No sir, my call center is in Texas.
  • Me: No problem. Maybe next time.

The point of these conversations doesn’t need an explanation. However, if we’re honest with ourselves, we know that our clients have been in both situations…with us. My invitation is for all of us to spend time finding ways to put our clients in the Company 2 bucket far more often than the Company 1 bucket.

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