Why don’t all companies take a customer centric approach to service?

Being part of the Packet Design Customer Care department and specifically the Technical Support group, I constantly ask: What more can we do to better serve our customers? My own recent experiences as a customer of various consumer products revealed some things that I can correlate to my job and Packet Design’s customer centric approach.

A Tale of Two ISPs  

I use two different Internet service providers and experienced issues with both recently. The first, which I will call “ISP1,” is a wired service provider. One day my service was disconnected, as my subscription had expired. I called them to ask for a renewal at 10:00 a.m., and the customer care executive confirmed a collection agent would arrive shortly. (They have a door-to-door bill collection staff, and they turn your service on immediately upon payment). The agent did show up to renew my service.

At 4:00 p.m. (six hours after I had already renewed the service), I received a call from the same ISP1 asking if I would like to renew, since my subscription had expired. This reveals that their case notes are not updated frequently, resulting in a process that creates confusion.

With “ISP2,” I experienced an Internet service outage. I called the toll-free customer care number but did not receive many facts about the issue. However, a local technician (luckily I have his number from a previous issue) revealed that they had a major service outage and would not be up for another 36 hours.

ISP2 has no proactive measures to inform their customers about major service disruptions. Even worse, their own customer care group is not kept up to date on them either.

Charging for Extra Services  

It was time to do an oil change on my motorbike, so I visited the local dealer service center. The service representative was cordial and received me very kindly. He did the initial inspection of my motorbike and took notes about the problems I reported. But when I received the invoice later that evening, they had charged me for extra items that I did not request.

A Customer Centric Approach

After these experiences, I feel even more fortunate to work for a company that does not engage in these types of practices. Packet Design is customer focused, and one of our company values is to “Under promise and over deliver.” We endeavor to be as transparent as possible, and we listen to customers to understand their needs.

For instance, we work with customers worldwide in multiple time zones and ensure our case notes are updated in real time to avoid inconveniencing our customers. Our support portal (ssp.packetdesign.com) keeps our customers updated on all developments, with an RSS Alerter, a list of upcoming events, popular feature requests, customer voting on product enhancements, etc.

We try to be responsive and follow through, whether the customer issue is Heartbleed, ShellShock, a product bug or a simple request for information. We believe any complaint or request is a gift that gives us an opportunity to improve our products and services.