The Score: Good Customer Service 1 Technology 0


Don’t you hate it when you have an urgent customer service matter that requires live assistance? An SMS conversation with a live agent or chat bot won’t cut it, web chat will require too much back and forth typing; and email—well, really?!

Over the last two weeks I had to resolve an issue with one of the biggest financial giants in the world. I won’t disclose their name, so let’s refer to them as F1. This story has a happy ending and you will see at the end of this blog that they came through for me at the eleventh hour. 


It was a non-eventful Sunday night. I was doing some research and had a few questions that required me to go to F1’s website because of an issue with my account. After a few unnecessary minutes of excavating to find their support and contact number (on their website), I realized I was well outside of business hours and my issue would have to wait until Monday morning.

Fast forward to Monday. I called the 1-800 number on their website and immediately found myself face-to-face with an IVR monster. I calmly navigated my way through 4 different prompts, and I was eventually connected to a live agent. I told him about my issue and he said that he wouldn’t be able to help me with my particular situation and he would have to transfer me to the US.

I was okay with that—so far, so good. Not so fast! In the middle of the transfer I was disconnected. Not a biggie, but it happens—so I was okay with it. I simply called back and made my way to back to where I started. The representative apologized and attempted to transfer me to the US office. I stress attempted because I was disconnected–AGAIN. This happened 7 more times until I finally gave up and decided I would deal with it on Tuesday. As a side note, I mentioned being disconnected each time and the representative said that everything seemed to be working okay on their end, but they were sorry.

Tuesday morning rolled around, and I woke up with heightened spirits and a “ready to tackle the world” attitude to have my issue resolved! At this point I memorized the IVR system, so I was connected to a live agent within seconds. I told him about my issues with the transferring the day before, and he said to ask for a manager if I was disconnected. He put me on hold—wait for it…success! I was transferred to the US office!

I was greeted by Amber, and I explained my issue. She was able to troubleshoot and fix the problem within a few minutes. Amber went the extra mile and offered to call me the next day to make sure that everything was going smoothly—of course I accepted! As customers, we should never refuse VIP treatment, right?

While there’s no doubt that their well-prepared and friendly agents turned around what started as a painful customer service experience, I can’t help but think that by having a properly designed customer engagement center in place F1 could have avoided this customer service blunder from the start.