Once again, a bit of Corporate Usage just got me to the point where I need to vent about it.
I can see the decision-making process from the Corporate Head Office perspective>
“Our customers complain that we don’t understand what they want – they say they feel we are unresponsive, and that every time they ask a question, they got an incomplete answer.
What can we do about this? Well, we need to understand our customers questions and concerns more!
OK here’s what we’ll do: every time we get a question, we will TELL the customer that we understand it! Every time a customer comes to us with a concern, we will TELL them that we understand the concern!
There! I’ve solved that problem!”
Yesterday I sent my bank an email with a simple question – I wanted to know if my card was registered in one particular program that they offer. A question, actually, that I should have known, but have forgotten. Back came the reply, starting with the phrase I’ve come to expect “I understand your question”.
Well good … but hang on a second – it was just a simple question, that called for looking at your records, and answering yes or no – how would you misunderstand it? Indeed, I don’t really care if you understand it or not, just answer it.
My recent experience with the cable company was the same, every person I talked to told me that they “understood my concern”. Well, I pay for TV, and I wasn’t getting it – not too difficult to understand I would have thought.
But sometimes, I have a more complex question, something where understanding the question might be a required skill. It could be that my question is one thing, but coming from a different angle, it could be read as something else. This is where understanding is required, and then, to be told “I understand your question” but be confronted with an answer to something else just adds to the frustration, it does not talk lessen it.
Don’t get me wrong, the person doing the reply is not the person I am complaining about – they were told that they had to use this phrase, and so they did.
But what it speaks of is a corporate culture that says that they will do all they can to appear to be responsive to customers, regardless of what we actually do.
No, it’s not the poorly paid person who replied that I am complaining about, but the highly paid person who, no doubt, got a big bonus for “solving” the problem