While most companies aim to become known for the quality and consistency of their customer service, some fail miserably or don’t even attempt to offer great service. The companies known for the worst customer service are - not surprisingly - usually very large companies that have lost track of customers in an endless pursuit of profit.
But research shows that there is a clear correlation between the level of customer satisfaction and the bottom line. It’s not profitable to ignore customers’ requests and treat them like second-class citizens. Here are some of the companies known for the worst customer service. Have you had a bad experience with any of these businesses?
Best Buy, a giant in consumer electronics, was named one of the worst customer service providers in the nation. The company has spoken of plans to revamp and improve their customer service strategies and plans - reportedly to better compete with companies like Amazon - and do offer the “Geek Squad” to help customers install and set up electronics and gear that can be confusing. That’s one positive in their column!
Remember Dr. David Dao, a respected doctor who was forcibly dragged off an over-booked United Airlines flight on April 9, 2017? United Express Flight 3411 quickly became a hot topic as people shared disbelief over the inhumane treatment of a doctor who paid for a flight, did not volunteer to give up his seat when it was discovered there wasn’t enough room for the flight crew, and was dragged out of the plane by law enforcement, injured as a result. Perhaps the videos taken by fellow passengers were the most shocking part of the story - and earned United Airlines a well-deserved spot in the list of companies with the worst customer service.
Calling Comcast (who purchased Time Warner, growing exponentially) customer service resolutions take a while and can be truly frustrating. Along with a difficulty in reaching a helpful team member via phone or email, customers also complain about hidden fees and charges on statements and bills. Taking an informal survey of the worst customer service companies by asking friends, family, and coworkers will reveal this company name quite often.
Bank of America is the 13th biggest company in the world, according to Forbes. Ask any customer of Bank of America how the customer service is, and you’ll hear lots of complaints - it’s hard to reach a live person, policies are strict and not customer-centric, fees and hidden charges appearing on statements, etc. Recently the bank announced they’d be lowering the threshold for people applying for loans and benefits, so their customer service could soon improve.
AT&T is the second-largest phone carrier in the nation (Verizon is number one), but it still took the number one spot for the companies with the worst customer service. AT&T users report difficulty in reaching a live human being when calling customer service or support. A merger with DirecTV could exacerbate this issue as the company grows even larger.
Publish Date: February 23, 2018
Whether you’re using a virtual receptionist or just learning more about the industry, it’s helpful to have a glossary of common virtual receptionist terms. Most terms are pretty self-explanatory, but understanding the nuances of call transfers and call forwarding can be a bit of a challenge.
Learn more about the industry to make the most of virtual receptionist (VR) services and more fully utilize the capabilities of your VR. Check out the glossary of virtual receptionist terms below!
Answering rules are the user’s capability to set preferences for the way calls are answered and handled on their behalf by a virtual receptionist.
An answering service is a company that provides a call answering service to business clients. The term answering service is sometimes used interchangeably with virtual receptionist. Answering services are sometimes staffed by live call answering specialists, but the term can also refer to automated call answering services.
Call completion is the status of a call that successfully went to voicemail, was transferred, queued, or handled in any way other than direct communication.
Call forwarding is the function that allows you to send phone calls to a different telephone number or voicemail box, just like email forwarding allows you to send emails that come to one address automatically to another. When a person’s cell phone rings in sync with their office phone, that’s call forwarding in action.
The call hold function refers to placing a call on hold without disconnecting the call. After the hold button is pressed, the caller hears silence, hold music, or recorded promotions (depending on what you’ve set up with your virtual receptionist provider). Once you’re ready to rejoin the call, press the hold button again to return.
Call routing is the act of directing phone calls to a certain number or extension based on standing answering rules (see above) set by your company.
see Call Transfer
Call screening allows you to choose whether or not to accept an incoming call. A virtual receptionist answers the call, gathers pertinent information from the caller, and presents you with that information before connecting you to the call. You can choose to take the call, reject the call entirely, have the receptionist take a message, or send the caller to voicemail. While caller ID can accurately identify the phone number of the person calling, it cannot reveal their intentions or the content of their inquiry like call screening can.
Also known as Call Patching. A call transfer takes place when an incoming call is redirected to another phone number or extension. Call transfers are different from call forwarding because forwarding happens automatically when an incoming call is received and transfers are manually done upon receipt and answer of an incoming call.
Forwarding is a bit different from Call Forwarding. When an incoming call is received but goes unanswered for a period of time you pre-define (say, 3 rings), it will be redirected automatically to a telephone number you specify. This feature helps users ensure no calls are missed.
Hold music refers to music that is played for a caller when they are placed on hold. Hold music is usually a digital music file the virtual receptionist provider sets up on your behalf to play for callers on hold. You are able to choose the hold music you’d like with certain providers. Hold music is proven to be more pleasant for callers than silence.
A local number is a telephone number that features region-specific digits that you select. A VoIP provider will usually provide a large list of possible local phone numbers for you to choose from. A local number becomes the official phone number for your business. Local numbers are available free with any plan from Conversational.
A toll-free number is usually available for a small additional cost (at Conversational, it’s $9.95) and begins with a toll-free prefix like 800 or 855. Vanity numbers are toll-free numbers with letters replacing numbers, i.e. 1-800-FLOWERS
A virtual office does not operate from a traditional, commercial office setting. A virtual office may use a virtual receptionist to create a sense of unity and centrality for the office, which may be dispersed across a city, country, or internationally. Virtual offices may have P.O. box addresses or use the home address of the owner and usually have local or toll-free telephone numbers to appear more professional.
A virtual receptionist is a call answering specialist who performs the same duties an on-site receptionist would while working from a different location and on a more flexible basis. Calls, appointments, and messages are handled remotely and delivered to the recipient in the manner they prefer - by phone, email, or text message. Virtual receptionists cost around $120-$400 per month depending on the provider you select. You can try a virtual receptionist free for 30 days by signing up for our free trial.
A voicemail message can be left for a recipient who did not answer a call. Voicemail is an electronic means to send, receive, and store voice messages.
Voicemail to Email refers to the ability to have voice messages quickly delivered to your email inbox as audio files.
A warm transfer refers to a transfer where the answering party (such as a virtual receptionist) collects pertinent information from a caller, delivers that information to the intended recipient, and if approved, transfers the caller to the recipient.
See anything missing from our glossary of virtual receptionist terms? Let us know by leaving a comment!
Publish Date: February 21, 2018