First Question to Ask in a Customer Service Fail

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This is the 48th episode of the Effective Executive podcast. In this episode, Tripp Babbitt discusses how executives should address a customer service fail. Download our Effective Executive Starter Kit.

Show Notes

The Effective Executive – Episode 48 – First Question to Ask in a Customer Service Fail

The Mysterious Letter

The Response

Not a New Problem

Best Way to Learn About Customers



[00:00:00] This is the 48th episode of the effective executive podcast and YouTube channel videos. And this week ahead, an interesting thing happened to me, so I decided to call this episode the first question an executive should ask in a customer service, fail.


[00:00:24] And what happened this week is I got this really strange letter, and sometimes you, especially nowadays you think it’s some type of scam or that’s that’s going on. But it was a letter from Wells Fargo saying that I had left my hazard insurance expire. And I was like, I have no idea what they’re talking about, because, first of all, my loan is not with Wells Fargo. So I got the letter. I was like, what? What do I do with this thing? So my wife called our existing loan provider and said, hey, we got this letter from Wells Fargo, or they somehow involved with our loan. And then she didn’t get anywhere with that and then called Wells Fargo and didn’t leak anything with nothing came of that. And so I tweeted and you can actually look it up on my Twitter account, but I tweeted at Wells Fargo on Monday this week and. They they basically said, you know, I got I got this letter, I’m not sure what’s happening, you know, is this a scam? But regardless, they did reply and I have to give them credit for that on Twitter.


[00:01:50] Pretty, pretty immediately, I’d say within an hour or so. And we private message back and forth. And they didn’t know what was going on, but they promised to get back with me, which they never did. I always you know, we all have a history with Wells Fargo now with the opening of accounts and things that they did in the past. And anyway, they they they they still haven’t gotten back. But a couple of days later, I did get a letter from our existing loan provider saying that they had transferred their loan over to Wells Fargo and a welcome letter from Wells Fargo. So something was obviously amiss. And this hazard insurance letter thing, I’m not just got out of order or something like that. And I got to tell you, I I worked for a number of years with banking or financial institutions, telecommunications, and they’re constantly putting out letters that or communications to customers that are hard to decipher.


[00:02:59] I remember one bank that I went into. They had sent out a letter about a debit card had been compromised. Debit cards had been compromised at the bank. But it wasn’t clear in the letter whether you were supposed to call the bank or they were going to go ahead and provide it.And this just created a tsunami of phone calls into this bank. And I happened to be there that day. And I got the letter and I could see why. And so you have to be very careful, obviously, about the communications that you send out. But it got me thinking about what is one thing that every executive should do in a situation like this. Well, first of all, you got to be aware of it, which goes without saying that’s a lot of the training that I provide. Education is going through and looking through a customer lens and seeing some of this stuff. But the first first thing you have to determine, is this a one time event or is this what I would reference as systemic or in some cases we call a one time event a special cause or is a common cause that you’re you’re continuing to create more because obviously you want to shut off the spigot of more phone calls if you by virtue of identifying what happened. And, you know, we don’t want to continue to send out in case of Wells Fargo hazard insurance letters to people before the loan is actually transferred over.


[00:04:37] So anyway, it was something that was what’s probably out of order. But but regardless, I may have been the only one I don’t know. I I’ve never worked with Wells Fargo, but they still haven’t gotten back to me. I have no idea. But if if it’s a one time event, you need to make it right. And even if it’s if it’s systemic, you need to go cut off the spigot. So you are creating more cases of people be mystified about a letter that they don’t didn’t make any sense because that was prior to even the loan getting transferred. So I wanted to record this particular video and audio for people to kind of consider this portion.


[00:05:26] And again, one of the best ways that you can go about is as an executive, take time to actually listen to some phone calls and your organization. Most large organizations, even mid-sized news organizations, have some type of customer service or contact center where customers are calling in and spending time there is golden because now you can speak to what customers are experiencing and seeing and and understand whether they’re frustrated every time they call into your organization or not. So that’s why they wanted to cover this week. Talk to you next week.

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