Nancy Dandolos woke to a nightmare of a chat in ALL CAPS… only it turned out not to be a dream…!
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Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to Episode 139 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. This week we’re feeling a little spooky. So stay tuned for five scary support stories. I’d like to welcome to the podcast today and indeed around the campfire, brand new guest, Nancy Dandolos. Nancy, it’s lovely to have you join me on this almost wintery evening, as we gather around here to tell some scary stories. Before we get to your story, would you like to introduce yourself?
Nancy Dandalos 0:53
Certainly. First of all, thank you for having me. shallowed to pleasure to be here. I’m by so my name is Nancy. I work in the customer success department. I’m based in Athens, Greece.
Charlotte Ward 1:08
And indeed We have transported the campfire to Greece, haven’t we, where the the winter nights the oncoming winter nights are a little bit warmer than I’m used to. So we’ll damp it down a bit and maybe just use it to toast a few marshmallows and, and otherwise, enjoy. What for me is a relatively warm night.
Nancy Dandalos 1:29
Not really cold, but marshmallows always come in handy. always welcome.
Charlotte Ward 1:35
Would you like to tell your story?
Nancy Dandalos 1:38
So my story goes back a couple years, when I was heading the customer success department in a market research company. We had set it up from scratch. I was fairly involved in the training and you know, when you think you you’re doing everything, right and no, all the people in the team are aligned and everything goes great. So we had a 24 seven support system. So you know, I was very happy because I used to do the night shift. And then I didn’t have to do it anymore. And now I was thinking it was in good hands. So you know, I was sleeping one night. And you know how you get a feeling. And all of a sudden, I kind of woke up and I was like there’s something bad happening somewhere in the world, something bad is happening. I’m already nervous. So I got my phone out, opened up the intercom, our chat option, and I could see this chat live happening between one of our representatives and a client. And I got writing to the point where our rep was using all caps when writing to the client, and I was like, No, no, no, I’m still asleep. This is not happening. So I was scrolling up the conversation to kind of see where where did this all go wrong, what happened. And then I was reading back and it was progressing progressively getting worse and worse. So I just scroll down and I send in a message to my my colleague and kind of just say goodnight, stop talking, get off this conversation. Now just stop it just say nothing, nothing more. And he was good. This, this is an American guy have got this. Just stop typing. Type only Good night, and get out, get out of the conversation. So this is what he did, thank God. And then I went back through the whole conversation. And it was like, you know how you when you train people and you tell them, you shouldn’t do? Like the top three things, you shouldn’t be rude to your customers, you should listen, you shouldn’t tell them. It’s your fault that this didn’t happen. It’s hurtful. It was like this guy had like a cheat sheet and was doing the exact opposite of that. So he started off with it’s not acid, you actually wrote that out, then was being arrogant and making fun of the client. And you know, the client was he wasn’t wrong. Okay. So most of the times something when they come to us, something’s gone wrong. Okay, so they’re fairly upset, they might not be able to get their point across very well. But you get to listen, right? So this guy was right to begin with. We had gotten it wrong. But instead of listening and kind of, you know, get trying to find the solution are my colleague was was like, No, no, no, no, no, it’s not us. Everything works fine now and it’s you. You didn’t do it, right. There’s nothing I can do to help you blah, blah, blah. And this guy was very polite in the beginning, and he was like, No, no, no Bye. You see, I did this and this and this, everything I should have done. And the guy was like, No, I’m afraid No, no, there’s nothing I can do. And then he was like, Can I speak to somebody else and he was like, Oh, you want to speak to my supervisor. You know, I just want to speak to somebody else I can help me. I didn’t say that. And he’s like, there’s nobody that can help you. And for your information. So it was all like, a kid in a playground being so rude. And then I was I was sitting there going, like, Oh my god, how could this have happened? How could How could this have gone so wrong? And you know, then then you’re faced with a client that you try to make things right. Okay. So I reached out, like, early morning, to apologise to the client, basically. And I think there’s a lot to be to be said for apologising, okay, I think, actually saying the words I’m sorry, if you’ve done something that shouldn’t have happened, go a long way. And showing empathy and telling people you know, I’m sorry that you had this experience. I’m really sorry that this happened yesterday. I did not make any personal comments about my colleague, the client was was, you know, egging me on all the time, kind of, I really hope this guy doesn’t work for you anymore. I really hope you do something about him. Oh, my gosh, really. And I was I was just ignoring all of that. And I was trying to get this guy on board with us, you know, because he was he was at the door, he had this experience. And it was very hard to come back from, you know, it was his, it was all cops. And it was it was rude. And they were calling each other names. And you know, I’m rude, though. You’re rude. Where did you grow up? I you know, I was probably raised in the house. And I have manners. No, you don’t. And it was like, Oh, God. I was like, the worst experience ever for both uns and the alien. Right? Yeah. I think the client was was horrified. You know, and it was certainly, I know, this sounds cliche, but it was certainly not representative of the the standard of service that we wanted to give. Okay, so everybody in our team was horrified. This was a new colleague, that looking back on, we should have spent more time training. But you know, you get caught up with with wanting to put people out there and be in you know, have them actually provide and do work. And he kept saying, I’ve got this, I’ve got this, I know I’m okay, with my training, I got it. And the way we used to train people then is we didn’t have a set training period, like you have to go through a week’s training or a month straining or whatever. It was more of, you know, I got to the client had to feel comfortable. The the colleague, the new colleague had to feel comfortable chatting with people, and then you would say, you know, fine, now you’re alone in the world. And you can go and talk to clients. Not really doing that anymore. learn from this experience. Yeah. So we have this, this guy just wanted to be like, like the he’d like the gung ho kind of hero in his own narrative, right? He just wanted to, he wouldn’t take the advice that these are people who in horror stories, always encounter trouble, right? Yeah, yeah, he wasn’t listening. And what surprised me afterwards is that he wasn’t, he wasn’t able to see what actually had gone wrong, you know, that? No, you cannot talk to a client that way. Because, you know, the client, when we say client is always right, that ain’t a matter of speaking is true, you can’t, you know, and he was like, I was doing right by the company, I was protecting us, that is not protecting us, in the long run, it’s hurting us, it’s hurting the company and the company’s reputation to have somebody behave like that. And this guy, you know, going out there and then advocating not to do business with us, because, you know, we’re gonna get through anywhere with these guys in their support team. So I had to then focus on the client and kind of making sure that we spend this experience into into a good one. So you know, I went through the basics of kind of saying, you know, truly sorry, for the experience you’ve had, this is not actually what we aspire to do. And then I gave him two options. And then I said, You know, I fully understand if you want nothing else to do with us, and I’ll arrange for you to have a full refund, and call it a day. And again, apologise for the experience you’ve had. Or we can have another goal. So this was a market research company. So basically, you were doing surveys. So I said, Let’s design together a new survey, I’ll sit down with you make it work, get you the results you want, get you the market insights that you want. And let’s do it together. You know, work on this together and he was very nice. And he gave us a chance and we we ran another survey. And he ended up helping us design a couple aspects of the the app as well in the long run. So we were fairly happy And lucky I guess, to be able to find somebody because I don’t know if it were me, I probably wouldn’t have bothered. I don’t know if that means I’m not such a good person. But actually being in the business of customer success and customer support, I find myself really identifying bad customer support and knowing that it doesn’t take that much to get it right just being polite and having empathy then I find that myself that I don’t have a lot of patience for people that get it wrong. Yeah, it was it was a great end in the in the end well, obviously not for the colleague that wasn’t calling anymore but but the client we managed to turn a very very nasty experience into a positive one. But still, it was it was scary what was happening I can remember my heart beating so fast going. I can’t be reading this. This has not actually been
Charlotte Ward 11:00
Yeah, that moment, like weight of realisation when something is going really badly wrong. You can’t stop it in the moment Yeah, yeah. That’s that’s enough to give our listeners nightmares. I think just the the all caps being woken from your your dreamy sleep to an all caps conversation, I think is kind of where I want to leave this because I think that’s a very fitting a very fitting point for this week. And yeah, I think I mean, good rescue well done in, in finding the positives in in such a horrific story. But yeah, thank you so much.
Nancy Dandalos 11:44
Thank you. Thank you. It was lovely sharing. Sure.
Charlotte Ward 11:50
Yeah. I was gonna say sweet. Should we have put some sausages on the fire with that beer? sausages? Yeah, and bacon bacon always.
Got everything. I did bring a pan. Luckily, I think like that makes everything better. It does. Let’s talk in.
That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/139 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.
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