Last night, I called IKEA at around 9pm. I had been careless and left one of my purchases at the cashier counter. When I realised my mistake, I looked up their phone number on their website and called them. I waited for 20 minutes, but the machine kept telling me to wait, and gave me some false hope by playing some seriously annoying background music. I tried a few more times and finally gave up. I started looking for their email address and found it. I wrote them an email on the spot and there hasn’t been a reply.
On separate note, today I started receiving autoresponders and notices in my email inbox from corporate friends who are notifying their contacts on how long they’ll be away for the holidays and when they’re coming back to work after spending all their angpow money. All this lack of email response made me realise – we’re living in a world that’s “connected” 24×7 now (unless, of course, your support team is climbing up Gunung Tahan), so why not provide better customer care? It’s not rocket science!
Let us dispel some customer service myths:
1. Customers won’t call you up for tech support at 5am – because they need to sleep too.
2. They won’t ask you complex questions during CNY – because they’re busy celebrating as well.
3. Customers don’t care about your operation times – they care about having their problems solved.
4. Companies often rely on machines to handle call-ins from customers asking for support. This is a horribly wrong approach. Why not solve the problem and that will eventually reduce your support work load.
5. The bigger the company, like Airasia, IKEA, TM… to name a few… the longer you’ll have to wait for a response. They get loads of calls, so they depend on machines. They should just find out why people are calling and solve the problems at hand so people won’t bother to call again in the future.
But enough of my rantings! We hope that you’ll enjoy your Chinese New Year! Like you, we’ll be enjoying our holidays with friends and family too, but we’ll also enjoy keeping our customer support available to you as usual. Happy holidays!