Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Callback times: How long is too long?

I never realize how important friendly, helpful customer service is until I'm on the receiving end of the frustrating, not-so-helpful kind. And around this time of year, 'tis the season. It gets tough when we're trying to get so much done in order to take a day or two off and I'm guilty too — I'll ignore e-mails and not answer phone voicemail messages until I get my other work under control.

But as a magazine editor, I'm in the service business so I've got to return the e-mails and the messages. It's not like I'm a government employee who can just let everything go to voicemail, haha.

I thought about this last week when I was trying to secure a Christmas "gift" for my dad, who had serious surgery this year and really doesn't need to spend his whole winter shoveling the driveway. I got a referral for a local landscape and snow removal company and called. Several times. I understand that this is the busy season for snow removal services and that many companies have a voicemail system for their calls.

But I never got a call back. I called three times, leaving detailed information and I never heard a peep. Now it's been longer than a week, and I'm really soured by the company's lack of a callback. Yes, I got a great referral and have heard nothing but good things about the techs, the pricing, and so on.

But if they never call me back, I'm not going to take the time to chase them down anymore. Next!
— Stephanie Ricca

1 comment:

Northern Scraper said...

Not returning calls is inappropriate at the best of times. Companies should use technology to its fullest and utilize the answering machine notifying clients when and if there telephone call will be returned. Maybe they have enough clients for the season.
We used to tell our clients where are crews were and update them through the vm system, thus reducing our call backs after and during storms.