Friday, June 09, 2023 | Dhu al-Qaadah 19, 1444 H
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How can an App satisfy you?

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I called up 1422 to inquire about water bills. But the employee on the other end did not bother to even ask my problem and respond accordingly. Instead, she promptly asked me to download the app. I asked her, if it is the customer service for which you are trained so that you can be in this position at the call centre. Aren’t you asking me to download the app without knowing my issue?.. I continued. Then came the response that she was not in charge of the billing section and she deals with only the issue of water cuts. I told her that on this number in the bill there is an option available on this line. Then how are you telling this, I asked her. Why doesn’t the company inform the subscribers that the inquiry service regarding bills is suspended or not available anymore? This requires at least respecting the customers. I told her that at least you should not reply to the customers in this manner.

I have always said that companies such as water, electricity, telecommunication, banks and those which provide services to the people should improve their customer services to respond to the queries and demands of the customers. They should greet them and give them a warm welcome and respond in a very polite manner.

Those who are working in this area or at the front desk should be trained how to welcome customers and deal with their issues. This is the customer service on which the reputation of a company depends.

A few years ago I did a detailed feature on customer services in the country. Since then, nothing has changed. Whatever progress has been made is marginal and negligible. The reason is that those who provide these services themselves are not satisfied with this service. They do not believe that this is a particularly important service to make an impression of those who contact it. The companies should focus on all aspects of these services.

The services of the call centres must see radical and drastic changes, starting with the selection of employees who have smiling faces, sweet tongue, broad heart, and wider horizons in front of them. They should have the mindset to help others and have good behaviour. For all these qualities, they should be examined and tested. These are some of the basic issues on which the employees of call centres should be assessed. It is unfortunate that most of those who respond from the call centres lack these qualities.

Instead, they have memorised certain sentences like “download the app” etc as response to your issues. Ideally, they should show interest in the problems of the customers and try to act in a way as if they want to ensure that the issues are solved. They should listen patiently and then respond in a manner which satisfies the customer.

These days our mobile phones are full of applications. Everybody is making an application and sending us a one line message “download the app.” Now we depend more on applications than on those who are actually capable of providing services.

Improvement is required as much as modern technologies are important to deal with whatever issues we have. But at any cost we should not forget our values, principles, traditions and practices while dealing with others and greeting them. We should not randomly ask a customer to download the app without knowing his or her problem.

The name and fame of call centres is music to the ears, in the beginning when you call them and at the end when you hand up. This is what they should be. Many call centres feel privileged to thank you for contacting you in a short mobile massage which reaches you even after you finish your work and disconnect the call.

Our call centres should display all values which are rooted in our cultural and civilisational heritage and faith. The call centre workers are ambassadors of our culture. They need to be trained and patronised by their companies only in this manner.

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