Once upon a time (because all great stories start with once upon a time), I moved to the country and picked Exede/Wild Blue for my Internet. And I say picked but really, it was the only choice out there.
I was happy in the beginning. The satellite Internet worked great, the speed was awesome for satellite (12 mbps download speeds), and all was right in the land.
Then, something happened to my modem. It’d be fine at times but then randomly shut off for 5 to 10 minutes. So I called the Exede/Wild Blue support team.
And then it began.
It was quickly established I had a faulty modem. No big deal – in an ideal world, a tech would come out, swap the modem, and all’s right again. Should take 10 minutes.
The support agent set up a service call two days ahead. Not ideal but again, I can understand being busy so two days was okay. The day of the service call comes and no one shows up. Turns out I was never really scheduled according to the new support agent. They were apologetic (I’m sorry for the inconvenience type of crap) and rescheduled.
Service call number 2 – no one shows up.
I’m now at seven days with intermittent Internet. I call back and get support agent number three (why can’t I just have one person?) who says that it still wasn’t entered correctly but he’s got me all set now. Lovely.
Service call number 3 – no one shows up.
I’m furious at this point but still polite with the newest support agent – number four. I explain what happened, how I have to be online to do my job, and just want a quick service call to swap out the modem. Again, the agent is apologetic and says the next available tech visit possible is July 5th.
Two weeks out.
I was silent to the point that he asked if I was still on the line. I demanded a sooner date since at this point, my modem has completely failed. The agent says that’s the first open slot. I ask to speak to the next tier of support. Surprise, they’re all gone for the day. Along with a few choice words, I say they’ve got 24 hours to call me back and then hang up.
I get a call roughly ten hours later with the new tier 2 agent. Again, lots of apologies (at least this time with “I’m sorry. I know it’s a huge frustration and hassle.”). Still, there’s nothing open before July 5th although he’s trying to get me in an earlier date.
And that’s where I sit. No Internet at the house with no real hope of it until July 5th. And it’s a total nightmare experience from which I don’t’ have any real choice since it’s the only real satellite Internet out here.
So what do we learn from these types horrible support experiences?
1) Say You’re Sorry
It shouldn’t take four different support agents for me to hear the words “I’m sorry”. It just shouldn’t.
2) Be Prepared
This new high-speed satellite Internet was poised to be huge. People where I live were hungry for those fast speeds (10x faster than the closest competitor Hughes Net). So Exede/Wild Blue knew it was going to be big.
And they weren’t ready with their staff. If you ever utter the phrase “It’ll be two weeks before I can have a tech at your house”, hire more people. That’s far too long to have a customer wait.
3) Have An Alternate Plan
I know my modem’s busted. Have it where you can mail me a replacement one. FedEx it over to my house with some return postage for the bad one. If it fixes it, you’ve saved a tech call and some money while providing a quick solution to your customer.
4) Have Direct Lines to your Agents
I had to explain my story to four different agents. That ties up my time and yours. Just give direct lines to your support agents so I can talk to the same one each time. I don’t mind waiting for them to start their shift if it saves me ten minutes of telling the same story a billion times.
Bad customer support happens because the agents don’t care. There was no empathy, no promises of a quick resolution, no indication that they would change their busted methods. Don’t let yourself fail your customers like this. Because at some point, no matter how great your product is, they’ll find the frustration too high and simply go elsewhere.
As for Exede/Wild Blue, I’ll let you know how it goes… in two weeks.
Speaking of worst support experiences, lay them on me. What’s the worst you ever experienced?