Daily Affairs

Get Better Customer Service: Get People to Do Emails, Calls, Research and More For You…

Do you take full advantage of the services offered by customer service representatives or do you waste time by doing tasks that they are paid to do for you anyways?


It sometimes several hours a week to receive proper customer support and implement their recommendations, hence the need to outsource (see previous post).    Lately, I’ve been requesting that my customer service agents to do more for me and save me time doing a lot of the grunt work they ask me to do.  At first I tend to get some hesitation; however, it still works more often than not.

The following are my typical requests, which seem reasonable yet about 50% of companies offering services including PROS/CONS according to my experience:

– Flexibility in Providing Support

WHO DOES IT WELL: Most web hosting companies – You can pay for support offered through multiple channels including web chat, emails, phone calls, and more.  I’ve even given a hosting company access to my computer to help with a support issue (1&1 Hosting)

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Most local businesses who are still very Web 1.0 and living in a 20th Century world.  Please adapt!

– Making internal phone calls to other divisions for me (don’t you hate getting the run-around?)

WHO DOES IT WELL: HP (Hewlett Packard)

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: TD Canada Trust (They couldn’t forward a message to my local branch when asked)

– Emailing me information rather than wasting my time by making me write it down:

WHO DOES IT WELL: 1&1 Internet Hosting – They always give me detailed descriptions and instructions upon request with 24/7 support

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: 90%+ of local businesses who "don’t do email" and TD Canada Trust

– Listens/responds to my requests carefully as opposed to giving automated answers

WHO DOES IT WELL: Local businesses who do not have automated systems

NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: 1&1 Internet Hosting – I gave specific requests and they failed to read 2+ of my emails


I found this factor to relevant on a person-by-person basis as opposed to an organizational trend

There are plenty of other examples …

This boils down to AUTOMATED SYSTEMS VERSUS PERSONALIZED SYSTEMS.  Obviously, there is a loss in some customer satisfaction either way:  automated systems are relatively more consistent yet more inflexible due to standard procedures.


By Leon Apel

Leon Apel works virtually with talented team members from North America, Europe and Asia on projects designed to improve life on earth.