What you’re about to read may seem unbelievable at first, but it’s okay because our writer couldn’t believe it himself when he spoke to various customer service people from the group-buying industry. Bill Gates once said “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”. Ironic for someone whose company gave birth to the Internet Explorer. Just like tax evasion, Customer Service will always be a very important aspect of any business. This article hopes to shed light on their stressful world of caffeine, customers, and complaints.
The average Customer Service personnel (CS) works an 8-hour shift, any time between 7am to midnight, 6 days a week, and is roughly paid RM2,800 and above, depending on experience. Each individual CS receives 80 – 160 queries a day, via telephone and emails. Screaming, death threats, ‘Yo Mama’ jokes, and more screaming make up the majority of those queries. Most problems arise when merchants fail to deliver their promises. Or fail to deliver. Literally. Facebook pages of any group-buying site will reveal tons of complaints on late product deliveries.
But not all is gloom as our writer finds out when he interviewed a few CS from various group-buying companies. Below are 10 excerpts from the interview transcripts of questions or conversations, retold by current and former CS personnel in return for a hot kopi-O kow and a small donation to their Psychiatry fund.
(Disclaimer: The names of customers, merchants, and companies are censored to protect the innocent. The purpose of this article is not to ridicule any parties but rather to share interesting stories and what we can learn from them).
9. As Seen On TV
8. Busted Ab Buster
(after 10 minutes of detailed comparison)
6. Halal Pork Burger
5. Public Holiday
4. Sold Out
3. East Coast
2. No (sense of) Time
1. Complimentary Pork
(Note to readers: Restaurants are classified by 3 ratings; Halal, Non-Halal, and Pork-free which means the establishment does not have a Halal certification but they do not serve pork and/or have Halal food suppliers).
5 Things Group-buying Customer Service would like you to know but are afraid of offending you:
Refunds generally take up to 14 working days to process because it involves a lot of other parties. Most group-buying companies use a secure payment gateway like PayPal or iPay88. Then there’s the bank that needs to approve the transfer of funds. So screaming at someone for RM29.90 on the second day won’t get you anywhere.
4. Tribunal for Consumer Claims Malaysia
Many customers threaten to make reports over trivial and petty matters. But not many know that the Tribunal filters each case and will not process every case it receives. Sometimes the money and time spent making a report cost more than the actual voucher itself.
3. Fine Prints/Conditions/Terms & Conditions
Most customers do not pay close attention to this crucial information. A lot of times, customers call up to ask something that they can easily find on the voucher itself. The most common mistake is customers missing the expiry date of the deal.
2. Being rude/sarcastic/screaming/cursing
Generally, being mean to someone does not get you far, unless you’re a politician. Insulting someone’s pet cat will not make your bank transfer money faster or make the merchant extend their business hours because you were late for the appointment. CS’s are people too; with feelings and bills to pay. You probably even like the same TV dramas as them.
1. READ THE DEAL PAGE/VOUCHER PROPERLY
We cannot emphasize how important this is! A lot of the questions and issues faced are because the customers do not read the voucher properly, especially BEFORE purchasing. So please PLEASE read it thoroughly.
(Disclaimer: These aren’t actual screencaps, just transcripts of the conversation with the interviewees. No one really uses black screens with white text anymore. Unless you’re in North Korea).