A Talk about Backing Up the Talk

The single most infuriating exercise in the waste management world today is having to contact customer service when a location has a problem.  It is painful when I call a customer service department and cannot get an operator.  It is especially painful when I call customer service and I am told there will be a long wait.  It is excruciatingly painful when I call customer service and realize I am never going to talk with a human being at all.

Think back to when you were evaluating waste management firms.   Terms such as “World Class Customer Service” and “24/7/365″ and “Service Partnership” were thrown  about and you were left with a warm/fuzzy feeling that in any crisis an operator would be right there to handle your problem, 24/7, live, on the phone.

How rude an awakening was that?  The hold times, the answering services, the continual need to have to follow up?  When was the last time you called customer service at your waste management vendor and an agent picked up on the first ring, already knew your name and had your file up and ready to talk?  Even better, how many times in the past year has your issue been resolved while you were still on the phone? It is a lot of talk.

9.7 second ASA.  That was our Average Seconds to Answer in 2011.  Pretty good, and that clock starts from the minute your dial is complete.

118 Minutes.  That was our average amount of total calls to customer service each day in 2011.  That is least than 2 hours/day for an entire department.  Maytag repairmen everywhere are jealous.

96.7% FCR.  Our First Call Resolution was almost 97% which means that 97 out of 100 times we solved your problem without you having to follow-up with us or anyone.

It is easy to throw around terms such as “World Class Customer Service,” however it is quite another issue to back up that talk.  Next time you are in a negotiation ask for the Customer Service specifics.  Get an ASA and an FCR and even get them to throw in their Net Promoter Score (ours hovers around 72). The reality is…our best sales team is our competitor’s customer service department.