Customer Service in PH

Let me give you a little background of my career. I worked as a Customer Service Representative since 2007 until 2014. I worked with big companies such as PayPal, Symantec Enterprise, Pitney Bowes and Dish. The clients are from North America, UK, and Ireland. I also worked as a Sr. Quality Analyst where I monitor agent’s call, making sure that they follow the proper call flow. I would pull them out when there’s a need to coach them.  Then after that, I worked at home from the second quarter of 2014 until the first quarter of 2015. I worked with clients from the US and Australia as a Customer Service Representative as well and as a Virtual Assistant. Then, in the first quarter of 2017, I got a back office job from Accenture. It’s not a pure Customer Service job but you still need to have at least a background in the Customer Service. So for almost a decade, I’ve been talking to different people from different nation thru phone calls and emails. And we follow a proper call and email handling procedure to make sure that we have exceeded the customer’s satisfaction and that their issue is resolved when we ended the call.

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What is the proper call handling procedure? Below are the summary of what we generally use to assist our onshore clients.

  • Opening Speil : This is your greetings with your name and branding. “Thank you for calling -company name-. This is Cams, how may I help you today? – Your tone of voice should be lively and you shouldn’t forget the branding and your name.
  • Acknowledgment : This is where you acknowledge the customer’s concern. Normally, a simple paraphrasing of the customer’s issue is an indication that you understood the customer’s concern.
  • Empathy: This is showing that you just don’t understand the customer’s issue. Empathy is showing that you feel the customer. This is being used when needed only. Rudeness also being checked here. If the customer is aggravated, then it is very detrimental that you would show rudeness to the customer as well. Not unless the customer is cursing you or the company, then yes, you can tell that you will hang up the call if he won’t stop cursing.
  • Resolution : This would be the body of your conversation. You deliver your resolution in any way applicable for both of the customer and the company you are working for.
  • Proper Hold : If there’s a need to put the customer on hold, you should always ask for permission. Set the expectation that the hold will just be within 1-2 minutes. If the customer agreed, then go. If not, then do not place the customer on hold. Work on it while he’s on the line. When you get back from hold, thank the customer for staying on the line.
  • Closing – Once the issue has been resolved, ask the customer if there’s anything else that you can help them with. If none, then thank the customer and do not forget to brand the call again. You may say, “Thank you for calling -brand name- I’m happy that I was able to help you today.”

All these companies have their own set of procedure in handling the customers. They may have different procedure but they have the same goal – to make the customer feel they are important and satisfied.

What if the agent failed to follow the proper call flow? Then he will be subjected to coaching. He will normally be given a sign-off sheet that he needs to meet the Quality score. But if in case that there’s no progress seen to the agent, then this may lead to termination.

Now, let’s talk about the customer service in the Philippines.

Have you tried calling Globe or PLDT? What about Government offices like BIR. I know for sure that I’m not the only one who experienced the horror of calling these companies and Government Office. Just recently, I called BIR just to ask for the RDO code where my previous company is sending the tax payments.

After 20 mins of waiting an agent finally answered the phone.
ME: Hi good afternoon, RDO inquiry lang po. (Hi good afternoon, I’m inquiring for RDO code) 
BIR: Maya-maya lang po, busy lahat ng linya. (Later, all lines are busy)
Me: Dead air. Di ko alam ano ba isasagot ko. (Dead air on my part since I’m not so sure how or what should I respond)
BIR: Maya-maya lang po busy pa po. Sabay play ng hold music.Tapos after a few minutes, call ended na. (Later, all lines are busy. – Then the call was put on hold without asking permission. Then after a few minutes, the line was cut.)

After that call, I was like – seriously??? While Filipinos are working so hard to provide an exceptional customer service for the foreign people, why the heck we can’t provide the same to our own people?! Yes! I agree that not all Philippine Government employees and offices are like this. But trust me, there are countless horror stories of customer service in the Philippines.

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When you reach out for Globe company or PLDT, be ready to keep repeating yourself because I bet they don’t read your inquiries. The resolution isn’t quick as well. You would end up giving up sometimes because of all the stress of engaging in the customer service here in the Philippines.

I’m not so sure why we can serve other countries almost perfectly but we cannot do the same for our own people. Really pathetic and disappointing.

 

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