Tag Archives: customer-service

Warrandyte! No scheduled power outage today…grrrr!

By rights, I should be delighted that the power outage scheduled from 9am till 4pm is not going ahead today. Trust me, on any other day I would be. Today, however, I’m really ticked off because Ausnet Services, the electricity wholesaler that supplies electricity to a huge chunk of Melbourne, didn’t think to let us know the outage had been cancelled.

To be fair, we’ve had ferocious winds since Sunday, so a lot of areas have been without power…in an unscheduled way. Clearly, getting power to them has to be a first priority. But…it’s not the guys who go out and actually fix things that send us texts and letters about our electricity supply. It is…ta dah…the office types who do that. And…ta dah no. 2…not one of those office types had the mental capacity to go…”oh, hang on, didn’t we schedule a power outage for Tuesday? Maybe we should send a text out…”

Now it may well be that as a wholesaler, Ausnet Services only has the phone numbers of people like me – i.e. people who ring up and complain. So, still to be fair, maybe Ausnet Services doesn’t have the phone number of every person they supply. But. They must know who the retailers are in their area. Right?

How hard would it have been to ring up a few retailers and let them know? Then at least there would have been the possibility that the retailers could have diverted some resources to letting us know.

Or…! Failing all else, someone at Ausnet Services could have changed the automated message you get when you ring them about outages. You know, the one where you have to pick dinky numbers that never match the reason for your call…-cough-

Because I was expecting an outage today, I haven’t checked Twitter to see if Ausnet Services left a notice there. If you’ve seen such a notice, I’d love to hear about it in comments. Whether they did or didn’t though, I’d just like to point out that not everyone is on Twitter, or Facebook [makes the sign to ward off evil]. In fact, there are probably a lot of people who are on neither. So where does a large corporation’s responsibility end?

I could go on about how corporate culture has killed the concept of customer service, but I have to go mop the laundry floor again. Why? Because I was stupid. Thinking the power would be off any moment, I decided to fill the washing machine via a hose. While it was filling I thought I’d check with Ausnet Services because it was closer to 10am than 9am and we still had power. The rest I’m sure you can work out for yourselves.

-sigh-

Meeks

p.s. has anyone else noticed that WordPress is distorting images from the Media Library when you insert them into a post?


Why we need speechbots to answer the phone — VentureBeat

GUEST: Industry and media attention have focused on chatbots for digital channels. However, speech bots that answer phone calls could have a greater impact on customer service. First, because phone remains one of the most popular customer service channels, and companies should be doing all they can to meet customers where they prefer to interact.…

via Why we need speechbots to answer the phone — VentureBeat

Interesting article but misses the point from the consumer’s point of view. Most consumers are now savvy enough to find out ‘simple’ information without help – i.e. by googling etc. If they do ring up a company, it’s because they have a question which is not simple, or which cannot be answered in a general way. Forcing them to interact with a speechbot – i.e. the computer generated morons that curently answer the phone – simply fuels frustration because consumers already know the bot won’t be able to help. As for improving all the areas in which current speechbots fail….I give it another 50 years or so. That means another 50 years of lousy customer service.


%d bloggers like this: