Strategy & Leadership

A Little Bad Customer Service Goes a Long Way

Not every customer’s installation is going to go 100 percent smoothly. But if you’re a field service tech, or a manger, it’s worth it every once in a while to remind yourself just how damaging even one customer-service screw-up can be to your reputation.

Here’s a pretty bad story from the Huffington Post about a royal mess of a satellite TV installation job. That’s when it all went wrong:

“Soon after the two men arrived at Soto’s home, DirecTV told them to leave, claiming that there was a fraud alert on Soto’s account. The satellite TV company then called the installation team back, telling it to disregard the alert. Minutes later DirecTV called again and told the installers to leave.

“Soto watched in disbelief as the installers packed up their gear. ‘I was like, ‘Am I on ‘Punk’d‘ right now?’ he recalled in an interview with The Huffington Post.

“Eventually Soto resolved the fraud alert confusion by providing the necessary documentation to DirecTV. Then Smart Circle, the third-party provider who had sold him the service, called: Smart Circle could not let the installation proceed because it had detected an large outstanding balance on his account with DirecTV.

“Fed up with Smart Circle, Soto called DirecTV to inquire about receiving service directly from the satellite TV company. DirecTV agreed to sell him the service but under more expensive terms.”

Long story short, this guy finally gets his TV set up, but not before both DirecTV and Smart Circle get mentioned in a scathing piece on HuffPo.

What’s the service tech’s role in a situation like this, where a customer is having a big-time customer service problem? Was there anything the techs could have done to step in and prevent the company from losing a brand-new customer? Feel free to leave any ideas you have in the comments section.

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