Iowa Specialty Hospital

Notes from Steve

January 29, 2024

Customer service rant.

Not sure if anyone uses Alexa – the little round (usually) speakers from Amazon that are usually amazing.  Last night mine were acting up.  (Sidenote: I’m screaming at them all the time.)  I’ve “connected” a bunch of them through the app so my house has a bunch playing the same music (like an in home stereo system). It’s very cool, and I am cooler because of it.  Last night it was busted … said my “groupings” didn’t work.  So, I texted customer service, and the person asked me all of the questions I anticipated.  She (I think it was a she) then said the problem was my phone and to clear out my history … which is not the right answer and weird to boot.  15 minutes later after jumping through ridiculous hoops she sent me to someone else.  This person dug into the problem, said it was on them, and is a big issue within Amazon and Alexa and they are working on it.  I told them this is the answer that makes me happy because I thought I was the problem and doing something wrong. I also asked them to tell the first service person this because we wasted a lot of time by them not knowing there was a major issue within Amazon.  He (I think it was a he) said, “Absolutely, I will.”

My lesson is – never make the person reporting the issue or problem feel like it’s their fault.  Be calm and attentive (ask them the right questions), but don’t assume from the start that they are the problem.  

Amazon fixed the problem overnight.  It was all good this morning.  If they were transparent and had a heads up on their website that “groupings” weren’t working (they knew they weren’t because they were already working on them), then I would guess a lot of customers wouldn’t have had to deal with customer service. 

When we are not transparent with the facts – assumptions are made.  The tide that needs to be raised is transparency, humility (know when to say “we’re at fault”), and apologize when needed.  

It’s not that hard.


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