A surprising place to find good customer service
Years ago, I bought a copy of the Style Guide for The Economist magazine. I can't find my copy of this book, so I'll probably get the exact wording a bit wrong, but according to the far-from-modest Style Guide, there are only two ways in which The Economist is superior to its competitors: in the quality of its analysis and the quality of its writing.
I'm often reminded of this when I hear customers telling us how much they like both Voltage's technology and our customer support, and I sometimes think that it might even make sense to say that there are only two ways in which Voltage is superior to its competition: in the quality of its technology and the quality of its support.
In any event, I found another example of excellent customer support recently, and this was in a place that took me totally by surprise. This was with customer service for my cell phone company (AT&T).
I don't look too closely at my cell phone bill because it gets charged to my credit card every month. Because I wasn't looking too closely at these bills, I didn't notice when the charges stopped being approved. I finally noticed this when there were three months of bills unpaid. When I noticed this, I called customer service to see what was the problem. It turned out that I hadn't updated the expiration date for the credit card that my cell phone was being billed to, and my issuing bank had decided to stop approving charges that AT&T had tried to bill to this credit card.
I was a bit puzzled by this, because they had cheerfully accepted charges for almost a year without having the updated expiration date, but it didn't take long to sort out. The customer service person who took care of this for me was extremely helpful, and definitely left me with an extremely positive impression of AT&T. I was astounded by this experience because the customer support people that I've talked to at other cell phone providers weren't as helpful. Not even close, actually.
I certainly gained an appreciation for the value of good customer service from this experience. Instead of grumbling about the bad service that I received, I now tell people how good the service was with AT&T. From what I've heard, our customers have a similar experience with our support people. Yesterday I probably didn't understand exactly how this has contributed to Voltage's success. Today, I certainly understand it a bit better. I suppose that I hadn't experienced good customer service in so long that I had forgotten what it was like.