Why make it hard to become a customer?
I try not to just vent or complain about personal experiences here, but I'm incredibly frustrated with phone companies. I think a lot of this waste is begging for a “Lean Solutions” approach and some lean engineering/design application. Why do service providers have such non-existent or broken processes? As Womack says, we're supposedly “good” at service in this country and that's why it's OK manufacturing goes away. We're hardly “good”, service is getting much worse, I agree with Womack on that.
When I moved to Texas, I called SBC and was told, after waiting on hold and being transferred three times that they don't offer service at our address (although our next door neighbors have SBC and we're in a new suburban big city area). I called Verizon and was also told “nope, can't help you”.
So, hello Vonage telephone service that runs through the cable company. If you have poor and disfunctional ‘customer acquisition' processes, no wonder the traditional phone companies are hurting. MAKE IT EASIER TO BECOME A CUSTOMER! I'M TRYING TO GIVE YOU MY $$$!!!
Sorry about the shouting. So my cable company has been very spotty. The TV and internet service conk out way too often, which really hurts me with a home office setup that I use once in a while. It's hard to work without internet.
I call the cable company (using a cell phone because my Vonage doesn't work without cable service, argh) to tell them I have no service. “We have an outage in your area” is their response. Well, duh. They always have outages, I guess we're just expected to deal with that as a customer.
This all violates Jim Womack's principle of “Don't waste my time.” They certainly aren't solving my problems for me either.
My next step was to call Verizon this morning to try to sign up for the new fiber optic TV and internet service that my town is a test market for.
Step 1: Go to verizon.com. Just TRY to find a phone number to call. Again, don't make it hard to become a customer.
Step 2: Click on Texas on a map and get a phone number.
Step 3: Call phone number and have the person say “OK, I have to transfer you to Texas. Again, a very broken process. I thought I had found the number, doing a lot of “unpaid work” in Lean Solutions terms, but no, it was wrong.
Step 4: Wait on hold 5 minutes…. that's when I give up. Why would you have such bottlenecks in the customer acquisition process????
I guess I'll just put up with what I have. I'll post to the blog when my internet is actually working. I better click “publish” before it conks out.