Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Customer Service Tips

What works for restaurants should work for phone support...
  (+3, -2)
(+3, -2)
  [vote for,

Being a call center/centre agent is hard. Having 75 customers ask the same question would push me over the hill. Restaurant servers have the same struggles; smiling and reciting daily specials grows old pretty fast. But most waiters seem happy to serve. And I think the reason is what gets left behind after the meal: the tip. Tipping is a great tool-

a) it provides quick feedback to the server b) gently rewards good service

If my AT&T customer service rep knew resolving my issue would get him a tip I bet I'd get better service. With the technology available today I see no reason why call centers couldn't quickly incorporate a tip system.

While customer is on hold the automated phone prompt says, "Your call will be answered in 3 minutes. If the agent resolves the issue to your satisfaction and if you feel need to tip press numbers 1 through 9 in your keypad after the call. Tipping is completely voluntary." If I press 3 a $3 dollar tip is given to the agent.

This kind of technology already works with text messaging. I recently gave my favorite radio station a $10 donation which was automatically added to my cell phone bill. The radio station isn't connected with the phone company. A 3rd party service provider manages the payment; but from the customer perspective the transaction was seamless.

nomadic_wonderer, Aug 29 2010


       [+] However, I find a bit Pollyannaish your description of how the feedback/reward effect of tips operates on servers. Their wages are based on the expectation that they'll earn a lot of their income in tips, so they're not so much smiling in the hope of bigger tips as in the fear of being stiffed. You can get a slave to smile at you, too, if he knows he'll be beaten for acting surly.   

       Also, I suspect this is baked. Increasingly, I find I'm asked to take a customer satisfaction survey after interacting with a customer service rep. I'd bet money that the rep's performance review includes a review of the survey results; I've seen that exact system used even with much higher-paid employees at firms seeking to improve customer satisfaction.
mouseposture, Aug 29 2010

       so after purchasing a fraudulent product I then have to bribe the company to get it to work to spec ? or more likely (and this is the "customer survey" part), leave them a tip depending on how much bullshit they can shovel ?   

       [-] ... and the horse you rode in on.
FlyingToaster, Aug 29 2010

       we could level the economic playing field if you could also trade sex for good support services.   

       "not sure if we can help you with that, sounds like a software problem, but if you will begin by telling me what you are wearing....."
WcW, Aug 29 2010

       Needs to operate in both positive and negative domains.   

       "solved your problem ?" Press *, 1-9 to tip.   

       "Asked you 'Do you have an ADSL filter in every phone socket ?' yet again ?" Press #, 1-9 for 1kV to 9kV shock to their private parts ....
8th of 7, Aug 29 2010

       [+] I like how direct the feedback is... it is supposed to be customer service after-all so perceptions of the customers should be everything.   

       Also what mouseposture said about restaurant service... I think it is important that the restaurant make it very clear on the menu or signs or something what their wages/tip policy is and possibly some guidelines for those who are travelling and may not know the culture/ expectation.
jamobaker, Aug 30 2010

       This is sort of OK. Philosophically, I hate it, because somewhere along the line I am already paying for customer service, and I don't feel that I should have to pay extra just to receive it. I don't tip builders, or people on supermarket checkouts, or my internet provider. On the other hand, maybe that's why I get crap building work, slow checkouts and hopeless broadband.   

       I'd prefer a scheme where, at the end of each call, you just selected a score from 0-9, and people whose score averaged below, say, 4 over a week were penalized or fired.   

       If you insist on implementing this, then I'd like my regular bill (or cost of product, or whatever) reduced so that, if I get reasonable service and reflect this in reasonable tips, my total outlay is the same.   

       Whatever happened to that strange concept that you paid someone a decent wage and they did the best they could?
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 30 2010

       //Whatever happened to...// That system requires good quality people as employees. The other system is more popular because it works with lower quality people. Unfortunately, not "also" but "instead."
mouseposture, Aug 31 2010


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