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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Customer Service

Customer Service, in its early inception was a brilliant offshoot of TQM with customer satisfaction as the goal. This makes prices of products and services go a notch higher than the usual. Then, customer satisfaction has evolved to after-sales services that have the poor consumer bombarded with unsolicited letters, calls and emails asking, probing, and forcing them to go and waste more money about their products. Through this line, CSR or customer service representatives were created. They run the gamut of sales representatives to technical experts that tells you where the letter "Q" in your keyboard is and that you need to plug in an electrical outlet a gadget before its "on" button lights up, or anything to that effect... and yeah, the spammers... they are also called CSR.

Owing to its acceptance and popularity, this customer service line has created a whole new spectrum of service and poured in billions of dollars in low-labor-cost, English-speaking third world countries like India and the Philippines. In fact, an agent is screened by having her or him say a couple of lines in English. If you happen to pronounce the words correctly, you're hired and would start to get paid with about $235 monthly. Provincial rates are lower, though, if they ever get paid regularly at all. So, in reality, it does not really matter if the dork hired was a dean's lister or a dumb pa-sosi (social climber in Philippine lingo) as long as the words were pronounced properly, or convincingly.

In the Philippines, job turn-over is fast in call centers as these CSRs burn out. It is because half of customers calling were either totally innocent about the product or service they have bought, or too smart to accept they have been duped. Both kind of customers could take the sanity away from the CSR in a matter of minutes. But behind those perfect-sounding English, the customer gets:
- wrong answer (99% of the time based on personal experience)
- imperfect grammar, if ever discernible at all.
- scripted message
- scripted message repeated again and again until the customer gets the hint and slams the phone to smithereens
- a nervous wreck (both ends - the CSR and the customer)
- a relay message "Yes ma'am/sir I will inform the people concerned about this."
- a message informing the customer to visit the nearest CSR in the area (after being told to call the CSR hotline)
- worsened headache
- madness.

So, if one studies closely the chain, there only is an added layer between the customer and their "concerned" manufacturer/ service provider: a buffer, a shock absorber, a barf bag.

The better of which one screws more, faster, then probably disappear...

Sorry to pester you once again about Customer Service. I have just called this (632)-8542100 CSR hotline and it's Air 21 who answered when I had a shipment placed through a DHL outlet. I was expecting the LBC-24 hours delivery type which the CSR (sales clerk) assured me... Only to find out I was given the 2-working days type of delivery, which means that the one I shipped around 9 AM in June 19 Thursday shall be delivered either on Monday or Tuesday. So much for express delivery.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


there are some interesting lines in here... i like most about monkeys paying other monkeys to listen to them... and monkeys giving a hoot about trophies and accolades... or giving a hoot about Nietzsche (did I ever spell it right the first time???) when he's just another monkey...and drawing imaginary lines and numbers... i hate numbers.