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One size doesn’t fit all – Part 2

By November 9, 2016 General

One customer recently shared that it took a total of 15 individual phone calls to inquire on, confirm and finally resolve a billing dispute (ultimately to a resolution but at the expense of time and wasted energy). They mentioned casually that the call was often ‘dropped’ during the long ‘on-hold’ periods.

It is not an accident (could it be intentional?). Here is what happens (special thank you to all of the former call centre managers and call centre employees who have collaborated on this one)…

Sample call into their call centre:

Press 1 for Residential, Press 2 for Business
Presses 2 (Next):
Press 1 for New Sales, Press 2 for Technical Support, Press 3 if you are Moving, Press 4 for Billing
Presses 4 (Next):
Press 1 for Billing inquiries, Press 2 for Cancellations
Presses 2 (Next):

Call is now transferred. This is a very, very small queue. Behind this bigger queue is a “win-back” queue. This is where the deals are cut. Getting there is hard. The wait times in this queue are ‘always’ the longest. The service interval (the time from the start of the call to the resolution is always the longest). Contact centre managers have learned three things:

  1. The more inconvenient it is to cancel, the higher the likelihood that they won’t cancel.
  2. Eventually when they cancel, time would have passed and an extra month of billing will likely happen.
  3. On-hold times are measured. Short call turn-around is preferred. Long calls are viewed unfavorably by management. If impacts compensation for both the agent and the manager. What is the remedy? Better service? Better training? No. There is an easier way….

Just hang up on the customer.

Whilst on hold, if you have experienced a call dropping for no reason it likely was for a reason. It was an “intentional” (the antonym to the accident). It means you will call back. They are banking on the fact that you won’t … at least that day. That is one more day of billing (or more) and possibly enough to ‘frustrate’ the entire goal of canceling.

It is brilliant – brilliantly awful.

They don’t have time for this, nor do they have spare staff kicking around that can run with these tasks. Remember too that they are smart, clever and cunning. They don’t want you to cancel so when you do – you need to make sure that you have your best talent on the phone representing or even defending your right to cancel without fear of financial or technical threat.

Sometimes good people provide bad service. Bad service starts with a bad culture, not bad people. Imagine a monopolistic or oligopolistic environment where providing good service really does not matter that much.

Across the street at the other oligopoly it is pretty much the same thing. No one really cares in the end. They just rotate through customers (they leave, they come back).

Be careful out there. Winter is coming.

About Frontier Networks


Frontier Networks Inc. is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario and provides Broadband Internet or MPLS, Voice lines or Cloud PBX (a replacement to old phone systems), cloud servers , colocation and our new Physical Security offering to Canadian Retail and Multi Site customers who demand world-wide coverage from a ‘new’ network. “We like to do traditional things in a non-traditional way”.  Frontier has built a network that connects to other networks. Think of them like a large ‘backbone’ of interconnected networks. They connect to every phone company, cable company, wireless and hydro/utelco in Canada and the US through a series of well-connected Points of Presence (POPs). Simply put ‘we don’t suck’.

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