Today let’s take a look at a case from real life and see what we can learn from it.

Gavin recently tried to switch cell phone providers. He was very excited because the new provider he had chosen offered a better value for his money. However, when he went to activate his new service, he ran into a problem: he did not know the name of the plan he had chosen when he had previously spoken to customer service. Thus, Gavin called the company to ensure he was activating the correct plan.

The first representative seemed confused by the plan Gavin tried to describe. But, wanting to serve the customer, the representative promised to find out which plan it was and relay the information to Gavin. Gavin felt that the representative was not educated enough in the plans to handle his question, but he did not want to hurt the representative’s feelings and let him charge ahead. After an extended hold time, the representative came back to tell Gavin that he had found the department Gavin needed and would transfer him.

Once the new department was on the line, Gavin explained his dilemma again, only to have this representative inform him that this was not the correct department and she would transfer him to another.

cat-47514_1280Now speaking with the third department, Gavin was told that no such plan existed, despite what the representative he had initially spoken had told him (and thus convinced him to change his service). After explaining his needs again, the representative transferred him to yet another department. This was slightly over an hour into the call.

The representative in this department did know what Gavin was talking about! He confirmed all of the information that Gavin thought he had remembered! But, alas, he did not have access to the proper system to actually activate service under this plan. He offered to transfer Gavin to another department that had access to that system.

After having three representatives answer the transfer, listen to Gavin explain his needs, and ask for him to hold for one moment only to suddenly transfer him to a new representative, Gavin was very angry.

When the fourth representative answered and did not put him on hold, he held out a ray of hope. But this representative then informed him the connection was poor and suggested that he try calling back. Now fuming, Gavin insisted she take his number and call him back instead. Once she did call back, Gavin discovered that this representative, like so many before her, had no idea what plan he was talking about. After an hour and forty-seven minutes on the phone, Gavin gave up, ended the call, and vowed to never give his business to this company.

Can you spot all of the errors that were made in the handling of this case? Check back in next week as we review the common pitfalls these representatives ran into and how to avoid them.