Often when I’m calling customer service, especially for technical support issues with computer or software trouble, the call is frustrating and often a painful waste of time. I often encounter people who really don’t know enough about the technology they are supporting to provide serious help. Sometimes I have to say, “May I please speak with your supervisor?” in order to reach someone who can actually help. Yesterday, though, I asked that question for a completely different reason: I was stunned and delighted with the quality of support my wife and I were receiving, and I wanted to make sure the company knew.
My wife was having some serious issues with her iPhone that we felt really needed tech support. We were both tired, but to catch Apple tech support during their business hours, we made a late evening call from China, and quickly reached a man named Chris. No long waiting–very nice. As we described a serious of issues and problems that would baffle many tech support call centers, he patiently walked us through a number of steps and helped us troubleshoot very efficiently. I was impressed with his cheerful, friendly tone. It was like an old friend kindly helping us out.
He not only knew his stuff, but he knew how to explain things to ordinary mortals to help them better understand, and did it all in a positive, friendly way that made it fun to chat with him. At one point, as he helped us understand what had gone wrong in a previous software update, he started using a home-spun analogy about what might happen to a patient getting brain surgery if the patient were dragged away from the doctors in the middle of surgery. It was hilarious, and I had to jump in at that point.
“Chris, as someone who has been jaded for years over bad tech support calls, I have to say this is the most positive, even delightful tech support experience we’ve had. I wish I could talk to your boss to let him know!”
“Actually, he’s right here, if you’d like to.”
I found that he had a boss with a sense of humor and enough patience to listen to a couple of delighted customers praise his employees. When I mentioned his clever analogies, the boss chuckled because this was a trademark of Chris’s style. He’s a natural teacher who uses a variety of tools to help his customers.
Wow. It was like being in a different dimension. An out of body experience. I came away from a tech support call not feeling upset and frustrated, but actually inspired. I don’t mean to promote any particular company, but I do want to promote the positive example that Chris set for us.
What would life be like in the Church if we could provide that kind of friendly, positive, attentive “technical support” to our members when they have questions and problems? What if home teachers and visiting teachers gave that kind of energy to their work? What if bishops and other local leaders could consistently imitate Chris’s great example? They do a great job in many cases, but sometimes we tend to overlook the sincerity and the deep needs behind tough questions asked by members or investigators. “Pray about it” or “Reinstall your testimony” may not sufficiently helpful responses. We may not have answers, but helping others get in contact with those who do would be much better than ignoring the problem. “Please hold” and an endless round of the Tabernacle Choir is not going to solve the problem.
Great customer service can work wonders. Let’s pay more attention to how we serve and stay cheerful, positive, and helpful. Of course, that’s what we should all know, but this little episode brought that message home to me in a new way.
Part of what made the call so fun for us was being able to praise someone to their boss. Perhaps when we see great things from those who serve us, thanking them and letting others know might make things even better and encourage the kindness we experienced.