1-800 CONTACTS: A Cloudy Vision Turned Clear



Gina Scanlon
03/31/2011

No one would deny the power of clarity when it comes to customer service. Friendliness is key in the contact center, but unfortunately an amicable representative doesn’t always equivocate to consistent, thorough service. It’s merely part of the puzzle.

A recent experience with the award-winning 1-800-CONTACTS made me re-evaluate how I personally determine whether or not a customer service phone call is successful or not. After serendipitously being disconnected from the first rep, who was very friendly and willing to help, I was transferred to a second rep who solved my problem within five minutes. The previous rep did not manage to resolve my issue, no matter how pleasant his voice box resonated into my ears.

1-800 CONTACTS has been recognized in past years for its exceptional customer satisfaction excellence from companies like J.D. Power and Associates Certified Call Center Program, and just by the first CSR’s introduction, I could tell that standards were set high. Right off the bat, their tone of voice is overtly cheery and they ask you how you’re feeling today as if they were your neighbor, inquiring whether or not you were still sick. This cultural approach has worked well by proof of their over 5 million customers.

In my case, First Call Resolution wasn’t reached, but if I wouldn’t have gotten disconnected, I wouldn’t have even known it hadn’t been reached, culminating in more confusion for me in the future.

First Attempt – Confusion

After a lovely gentleman named Brad asked me how my day was going and asked how he could be of assistance, I explained that I was simply checking on the status of my order, which was expected a few days prior. He promptly looked my order up and told me that it was scheduled to ship out the next day. When I asked if I could do an address change on the order, he said it was too late. Fair enough. I figured the issue was resolved, and would await the notification of the order the next day. But just as we were wrapping up our call, my line went dead. So I called back.

Second Attempt – Success

This time, an even more energetic rep named Cindy awaited my request. When I told her I just wanted to re-confirm that the order was shipping to my address the next day, she looked at her screen and said that the former rep was misinformed, and that the order had already been marked as delivered. When I told her I had never received the package, or a notice from the postal service, she tried her hand at apologizing and empathizing. She then quickly placed me on hold, amended my order to be Fed-exed in the next two business days, AND she changed the address, as I had attempted to change with the previous rep.

Now that’s a resolution.

Still, I have to wonder how two reps from the same company with the same system can give such conflicting information. Perhaps this is something that could have been ironed out in training.

What do you think?

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