customer service

All posts tagged customer service

Medical World = STRESS!!!

Published May 18, 2018 by lynn k scott

I have been patiently waiting for my medical insurance to decide whether they would allow a referral to a provider outside the network I am currently enrolled in.  They had 30 days in which to do so.  That’s the equivalent of molasses going uphill, on a glacier, during a blizzard.  I mean really, oncology referrals should take as long as possible because we’re only speaking of a human life.  Shoot…that sarcasm reared its truthful head again.

Even though I have completed chemo, I had no follow-up with my oncologist because she refuses to answer my questions without an appointment.  There wouldn’t be messaging capabilities if we had to make an appointment every time we needed to ask a simple question.  No wonder it takes weeks to make appointments these days.  Sorry, I digress.

It’s been very peaceful with the new job and not having any contact with anyone in the medical industry.  Yet, today, that peace was shattered.  I answered an 800 number.  The good thing is I didn’t have to go through their carrier’s horrendous hell of a voicemail system to return their call.  The unfortunate aspect was I had to deal with someone who doesn’t understand the proverbial, “you”.

While I am far from the best or even compliant patient, customer service representatives need to understand the tone of frustration compared to yelling.  It’s one thing to be sympathetic to someone’s plight of an insurance nightmare.  It’s a completely different to truly be empathetic.  Then, to add insult to injury, tell me I am yelling when I am merely expressing frustration.  There is no doubt when I truly begin to yell.  As my daughter puts it, “New York Mommy” shows up at that point.

It never ceases to amaze me how shocked people are when I say, “you have no idea” and then try to argue the fact with me that they do.  Unless the person that I am speaking with has filed multiple grievances, prepped their children for the “worst case scenario”, begged for help and to see a provider they can actually understand, DO  NOT tell me, “I understand”!!!  It’s unprofessional; to say the least.  Learn the difference between empathy and sympathy; they are not the same.

Am I overly “touchy” where my health care is concerned?  Absolutely!  Having been neglected after surgery, passed around to provider after provider and generally ignored when I insist on being in charge of my care and letting doctors only advise has me extremely “jaded” to most people.

Healthcare is non-existent.  Health profits is what drives today’s medical profession.  Patients die every day.  I truly believe insurance carriers AND providers are facilitators of this because if the patient doesn’t fit in the “acceptable” boundaries, they are discarded; regardless of how much assistance and/or treatment they need.  Nice to know it’s reached the call centers.  The entire system needs a course in compassion!

So ends another medical rant.  Off to pray for tolerance and healing.

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The “Girls” Get New Clothes

Published April 24, 2016 by lynn k scott

I stopped into Lane Bryant yesterday. This has only been my second visit ever to a Lane Bryant store; first time in Roseville. I was able to look around for a few minutes before an employee, Madison, approached me and asked if I was finding everything all right. I asked if they had someone who could do a bra fitting. She was able to help.

Ladies…if you’re not getting fitted when buying a bra, odds are, you’re buying the wrong size.

Madison was able to do the measurement, asked what I was looking for, what I currently didn’t like about my current bras, etc. She gave me some suggestions and I was able to try some one. She made sure to come back and check on me. Then she helped me find another bra to go with the one I liked best.

At checkout, Madison asked if I had a Lane Bryant card. I didn’t; my credit isn’t great. She said they are a second chance company and if I was approved, I’d save $20 on my purchase. Ok, for $20 and a soft inquiry on my credit report…why not? Sure enough…I saved $20!!!  You have no idea how much saving money, especially on necessary items, makes me giddy with joy.

I also prefer Lane Bryant over another women’s store with “angelic” models, because unlike Lane Bryant, the other store refuses to carry any size over a 38 in their store; essentially saying they only want a specific body style shopping there.  Once, the other store’s employee actually told me I could order online or go to Lane Bryant.  Ya know, that’s exactly what I did!  I admit, having had five kids, being more than gifted in the “girls” department, I don’t look like a supermodel. I will, say I think I look pretty damn good for a mother of five, but I live in reality and I’m not every going have a size six again.

The store is clean, the merchandise is reasonable and well made. The customer service is OUTSTANDING!!! With so many businesses acting as if the customer is there for them and not the other way around, it was very refreshing.  They’ve definitely earned my future business, a positive Yelp review and a not-to-shabby blog post.

Walgreen’s Policy

Published April 15, 2016 by lynn k scott

Walgreen’s is a local drug store.  Personally, I’ve been to better, but that’s for another time.  Recently, I had my doctor send a prescription to the Walgreen’s pharmacy, which is less than a mile from my house.  I can honestly say, I won’t be making that mistake again.

I gave in and went to my doctor last week.  If you follow my blog, you know how I am not a fan of visiting those in the medical community.  However, the pain in my stomach, the vomiting, the wanting to die persuaded me to make an appointment.

It’s not bad enough I deal with Celiac’s Disease on a daily basis.  I had an idea what was wrong with me, upon entering the doctor’s office for this new issue that had been plaguing my stomach.  Sure enough, the doctor confirmed it….an ulcer.

He started me on some medicine to let my stomach heal.  My doctor’s office is about 30 minutes from my home; close to work though.  You would think my prescription would be ready by the time I reached the pharmacy.  Silly you…of course it wasn’t!

Naturally, why fill a prescription when you can wait for the patient to come in and ask for it and then begin filling it.  Who cares about wasting other people’s time, right?

The prescription finally comes up and again, silly me, I look to the board that say it’s ready.  My phone is ringing…who could it be?  Why, Walgreens, of course!  Their automated system was telling me my medicine is now ready.  Funny, the waiting room board was still blank.  Obviously, a good investment for the store.

When I arrived, there wasn’t a line.  Naturally, when I need to pay for my medicine, there is.  I try the kiosk to pick up my medicine.  That would be too easy.  It let me get all the way to where I pay for it and stopped me.  I had to speak to someone.  Damn!  Now, back in line I go.

After waiting another 15 minutes, the tech couldn’t find my prescription.  It was sitting within an arms reach of her register (but out of my vision).  I pay for it, I sign for it, it’s now mine.  Uh uh uh!  New policy.  I must be offered a consultation.  Really?  I thought I was in charge of whether or not I spoke to the pharmacist.

The tech takes off to go get the pharmacist.  I am very vocal at this point that I do not need or want a consultation.  I take my bag from the pharmacist and leave.

After speaking with the store manager, a lowly tech, isn’t qualified to hear the words, “I don’t want a consult”.  The one and only pharmacist, who now is constantly interrupted to make sure this consult option is offered, must stop filling prescriptions to deal with customers.

I let the manager know, there’s one slight problem with their corporate policy; it violates my rights to my medication.  Before you go defending this slower than molasses pharmacy, hear me out.

If their policy is to make sure everyone receives or waives their consult, it needs to be done PRIOR to the customer signing and paying for their medication.  Their “in-house” policy does not trump my right to my medication, that is now mine once it’s been paid and signed for.  They failed to realize this and I made it very clear they have lost my business.  I’m sorry, in this case, the customer was right.  They wasted enough of my time and I wasn’t standing quietly by while they imposed their policy on me, which was declined several times.

CVS is a much better pharmacy and drug store.  Walgreens may be good, in some city, but the two locations, in two cities that I have lived, they are the most inefficient locations of the company.  Just know your rights and make sure you pay after declining.

Never hurts to look

Published December 13, 2015 by lynn k scott

Everyone has a favorite kind of store.  I happen to love quality, kitchen-type stores:  Crate and Barrel, Macy’s (3rd floor), Williams-Sonoma, etc.

My favorite of these stores is Sur La Table.  It is my fantasy shop, my wishlist shop, my ‘I want this but can’t afford it’ shop.  However, several times a year, ok every other month or so, I get the opportunity to stroll around “my” shop.

While the pricing can be a bit high on certain items, Sur La Table does price-match.  They have a great return policy and the staff is incredibly helpful and engaging.  That might seem silly to some, but in today’s world where customer service is typically a phrase instead of a practice, I truly appreciate the effort the employees make.

Another fun part of perusing the aisles of Sur La Table, is the coffee section.  They have a variety of coffee, latte, espresso and cappuccino makers.  Ok, so you won’t find a Mr. Coffee pot or even a Keurig here, but the options that are available will make the true coffee lover think they’ve died and gone to Heaven.  From Nespresso to a Jura you can literally take your pick of high-end, barista-quality machines.

I had the pleasure of sampling coffee from the Jura J9.  They only go on sale once a year, around the holidays, and I have fallen in love.  I truly appreciate coffee.  While this machine is definitely not affordable on my pauper’s purse, at the moment, it’s something I would consider saving up for.  Yes, I love coffee that much and I can appreciate this machine just as any car enthusiast would appreciate their favorite vehicle “purring” as it idled and wanting to own it.

My favorite spot in the shop, which calls to my bargain-hunting, never pay retail mentality, is the clearance section.  You never know what is going to be on the two to three free standing racks in the back of the store.

I stumbled up on some ceramic measuring cups and spoons.  I thought they were divine.  The cups were $12.49 for four cups and the spoons were $9.99 for four spoons.  I thought the spoons were adorable, but couldn’t justify $10 for them.  The cups, I couldn’t put down.  I would pick them up, tell myself no, and set them down again.  After the third time, I knew I had to have them.  I am really working on limiting plastic cookware in the house and trying to use glass, ceramic and stoneware.

When I brought them to the register, I was pleasantly surprised to find out they were marked down even further to $5.99.  Wait!  What?  Oh I had to go get another set at that price.  I ran back grabbed another set of measuring cups and then grabbed those delightful little measuring spoons too.  If the cups were on sale, then the matching spoons should be less than the current clearance sticker too, right?  YES!

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I managed to pick up two sets of measuring cups and the measuring spoons for a little over $18, including tax.  The original price tag was still on the spoons; they were $20!  I was elated at my little find in my favorite store.  It never hurts to look.

What’s your favorite store that just makes you all warm and fuzzy as you walk through the entrance?

 

Open Letter to Customer Service Representatives

Published March 26, 2015 by lynn k scott

I can honestly say, I’ve had the displeasure of contacting another major cable company’s customer service because of billing errors.  This company really should consider removing anything with an “A” in their name as they are far from exemplary in any sense of the word.  In fact, they should actually the a model of what not to follow when providing customer service.

If you are in customer service, especially, phone support, if you’re offended by the following, either help your company fix these issues or find another line of work.  There is no grey in this instance.

  • Knowing your customer service is outsourced, when I ask, “Where am I calling?”, responding with the company name is NOT the right answer.  I will resist the urge to respond with, “DUH!” as there will be something lost in translation.The answer is your country.  I want to document my notes for when you screw up again.
  • When I tell you to stop speaking from a script:  then STOP reading from a script.  You don’t sound happy to assist me and I highly doubt you’ll be effective in correcting the last three representatives errors.
  • Please listen to what I am telling you.  If I am giving you line item information, you should be looking at the same thing so you know what I am referring to.
  • When I ask for a supervisor, you no can help me.  Stop insisting, because I”m going to insist louder that I speak with your manager.  Your lack of understanding this request will be the first thing I discuss with your supervisor.
  • When I inevitably ask for your supervisor, TELL THEM WHY I am requesting to speak with them.  Putting me on hold until they pick up and making me start over will only lead me to make a formal complain against you.  Believe me, I take detailed notes.
  • Supervisors and Managers:  You are no less to blame.  Train your staff.
  • If I get to you, your rep has obviously failed to resolve my issue.  I’ve already spent at least 30 minutes on the phone by this point, and what little patience I had, left me 25 minutes ago.
  • If you are so eager to put me on hold to “review my account”, rest assured, you can put me on hold to follow-up with customer service rep who can’t figure out how to confirm a charge was removed from my account, which led me to speaking to you.
  • When a customer asks for an escalation to a resolution specialist, you have an obligation to put in said request.
  • If the customer asked for the resolution specialist, the customer has to call in far too many times.  GET IT RIGHT!
  • If the customer states this is the second, third, fourth call to resolve the issue, double your effort to GET IT RIGHT!
  • Ask the “powers that be” what the damn number to customer service in the U.S. is.
  • MANY U.S. customers would like to speak to U.S. representatives, especially, when we live in the U.S., pay our bill with U.S. dollars to an address in the U.S.  We expect to hear AND understand English in its proper context.  We expect people to interact with us without having to read what to say.  We won’t apologize for wanting to resolve issues with someone who has the same type of service, in the same country, we do.
  • Don’t be surprised when these irate customers, as a last resort, begin to cuss you out in a language you do understand, when you fail to resolve yet another on-going issue.

To the greedy, profit-driven companies who believe American’s don’t deserve jobs and you prefer to outsource office work to cheaper labor in non-English speaking countries, KNOCK IT OFF!  I want and expect customer service in the U.S. and I won’t apologize for getting pissy about it either!

What is Customer Service?

Published March 6, 2015 by lynn k scott

What is customer service?  It’s a simple little concept that you appreciate the people that buy your goods and/or services. For example, we pay quite a large sum of money to an insurance carrier.  We have bought their goods.  (Ok, that’s almost laughable considering what I think of insurance carriers.)  Now, the carrier was nice enough to give us a dedicate representative.  That is so much better than the “team” approach which rarely results in any customer service because notes are rarely updated.

Silly me calls my representative today.  I have 5 invoices to authorize payment on.  Some have HUGE credits.  I can’t balance how they applied the funds to what I have listed.  All I wanted was the amount they received and how it was applied. Three calls and 8 hours later we have discovered:

  • She misunderstood what I wanted
  • With her misunderstanding, I wasn’t going to get what I needed today
  • Knowing I wasn’t getting the information I needed today, she fails to relay that information
  • I reiterate what I’m looking for (call #2)
  • She sends a spreadsheet WITH THE SAME INFORMATION I ALREADY HAVE and I found an error in her information, which she acknowledged was incorrect
  • Clearly she still didn’t understand what I needed
  • Now it’s been escalated to the finance department
  • I knew that’s who I needed to speak with because I clearly stated what I needed

This is an example of bad customer service.  Don’t provide bad customer service.  Just listen and ask for clarification if you’re unsure.  Otherwise I sit in my office, with my door (you know who this is directed at lol) and swear about poor customer service.

It’s Friday and there’s a drink in my future in about 60 minutes…just saying!

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