Tuesday, January 6, 2009
One of the best parts of my job is the great stories about customers that I get to collect. Please keep in mind that, in general, I work with business owners, CIOs, CFOs, and CEOs. But I have quickly learned that the title on your business card does not guarantee that you will be either intelligent or professional.
This was only my second day back at work and I already had a great one... a customer complained to one of my reps that he had left me several voicemails during my maternity leave and had not heard back from me. He pretty much implied that our deal had fallen through because I had been unresponsive.
I seriously never got any of these voicemails, nor do I remember seeing him on my Missed Call list, but I am a new mom and sleep deprivation does things to the brain.
So upon hearing this, I immediately thought, "Uh oh. I wonder what happened. I should investigate. I work for a cell company so I have the tools to fix this if needed. What if other customers had this experience?"
Of course, another part of me thought, "Seriously, dude? You called me, listened to my voicemail which clearly stated that I was on maternity leave until January 5th and left me a message anyway?" But, I chose to listen to the angel on my left shoulder in the Tahari suit and send him an email.
(A side note here... I went out on leave when I was 7 months pregnant. Obviously, I thought I had a good two more months of work left to go, but when the doctor says "emergency inducement to save the life of the child", you don't ask for a few days to answer some emails. Sadly, there were several customers that, even upon hearing why I had left suddenly, were completely ticked off that I had abandoned them. Phrases like "left me high and dry" and "that's no excuse" were used. To say that I will never again go above and beyond to help these assholes is an understatement.)
In my email I began by apologizing that he had not been able to reach me and that I was concerned that I may have missed other calls. Could he tell me what number he had called? Had he reached my voice mail when he called?
He replied, "Yes. Called several times, did receive your voicemail and left multiple messages."
Now this doesn't answer my first, most important question... I do have both a desk and cellular phone with separate voicemail systems... but it did raise a new concern. My voicemail left the phone number of my assistant, urging folks to contact her for assistance. Had she been unresponsive to him? She was generally reliable, but everyone is apt to drop a ball every so often.
So, in my next email I asked: Since he did receive my voicemail, was he able to reach my assistant through the number I left on the outgoing message? I would hate to think that he'd had an immediate need and he had been completely ignored.
He replied: "Sorry I made everything up happy now?"
I am transcribing the punctuation verbatim so that you can fully appreciate the effect here.
Dear reader, I ask you for your opinion... Is the guy genuinely bugged by my inquiry and thus being a sarcastic jerk? Or is he pissed off that his lies couldn't withstand my innocent line of questioning and therefore is going to cop to his own bullshit?
Please leave your opinion at the tone. I'll be sure and deny later that I ever received it.