Mon, 05/24/2021 - 10:39pm

Talk to the Hand

Margaret Poindexter comes full circle with her advice to the AKC

Well, it appears I’ve come full circle.

Despite my lofty platitudes in my last column about my situation with my new wireless carrier and my new phone, the whole thing went south almost immediately after I wrote.

Almost as if the carrier reads Dog News.

So, I take back everything I said that spun my changing carriers in a positive way.

Now, it’s on.

Give me a bunch of customer-service runaround. Tell it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Fraud Division.

Try to say my device wasn’t pristine when I returned it and I owe you, not the other way around? Tell it to the Federal Trade Commission.

Try to say you can hold my number of 13 years hostage? Tell it to the Federal Communications Commission.

I don’t believe that customer-service folks should receive your ire, because they are limited in what they can represent, are given a script to follow, and are typically treated far worse by management than you’re being. Why add to their pain?

I fault the company for leaving them hanging out there, for their being given lots of responsibility for front-facing customer interactions, even in very complicated, ongoing situations, and yet, almost no authority. 

I don’t understand how the company can put into place systems and processes that are inherently flawed, and yet expect you to have to deal with someone who cannot do anything about it except say, “I am sorry for your frustration.”

I don’t want someone to be sorry for my frustration; I want someone to fix the source of my frustration. 

As I read social-media posts venting about folks’ interactions with AKC customer service, I note frustrations abound, and I have to wonder what’s really at the root of the problem. Relatively functioning website applications that have been replaced by a more cumbersome “toolbox”? Insufficient staffing due to management’s cuts that cause long hold times? Less emphasis on breeder customer needs than on other constituencies and programs?

Does it matter?

Do you really care if AKC’s sorry for your frustration, or do you just want them to fix the causes of the frustration?

Doesn’t it really come down to this?  

AKC, quit paying lip service to your core constituency and simply provide quality service to your core constituency. 

And let’s be clear: This is not a criticism of AKC customer-service representatives. This is a criticism of a management that values neither its customer-service folks nor the folks with whom customer service deals.

If it valued the customer-service representatives, they would be treated better, given more resources and more tools to assist you, and more authority to fix the sources of the frustration.

If it valued you, you would be treated better, you would be given more solutions and tools to assist you, and you would not have to resort to customer-service assistance regularly.

And so here we are, full circle to what I said in my last column: Don’t complain to customer service. Don’t complain on social media. Complain to your actual AKC “representatives”: your delegate, your board of directors, the president of AKC. And by doing so, commit to forcing AKC to put you, its core constituency, and your dogs first.



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