June 24, 2013

What Good Customer Service Should Look Like

I worked at Time Warner Cable doing customer service for a period of time. This is not a secret.

There is one particular memory that will stay with me from when I did my time in Staten Island. A couple kept getting random phone calls to their digital phone line, calls where the person would wait for them to pick up and then hang up on them. The calls kept coming from different numbers, so numerous that we couldn’t actually block all of the phone calls themselves. Upon doing research I discovered that the problem was actually coming from Internet phishing, where it wasn’t actually people dialing at all, but a phenomenon with internet scammers involving unused telephone numbers. I don’t remember all the details, but I do remember these people contacting ME in particular several times over several months to see what else I could find. Ultimately, the only thing I could figure out to do would be to disconnect their service with us and go with a copper landline with another company. Of course, that’s not what the sales culture wants to hear, I’m sure, but maybe that’s why they kept talking to me: because I was the only one in the office who tried so hard to find them the right answer.

This isn’t an isolated incident. I’ve spent most of my life trying to find the answers for other people. Now, I want to find the answers for me, so that it can directly affect you.


Does customer service mean only servicing yourself? No. But does it mean completely denying yourself and becoming a robot so someone can get their cable service back on? I think there’s a safe and happy medium that focuses on one thing: the relationship between the employee and the customer. If the employee honestly wants to help, and the customer is understanding that there is only so much the employee can do, that is the best kind of relationship this situation can bring about, in my opinion

In reality, I am servicing all of my customers -- you guys -- when I write to this blog, or write a story, or compose a piece I want you to listen to. I have to find a way to hook your imaginations and draw them inward so that you’re not conscious of it. But the entire thing almost seems wrong to me. You are not all just fish in the sea that I am trying to catch. You are people. If more companies treated people like people and not fish (or worse) then I think we might all be a little better off

I want to create music and write for people. That, I believe, is how I will bring my customer service background into my art. What do you think? What does good customer service mean to you?

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