Questions and Answers in Customer Service

Written by Bloomfire Admin

Last week, I was with a friend at a big box retailer so that she could upgrade from the iPhone 5 to the 6. I hadn’t been to this kind of store in a long time. Like most people these days, I buy most things online. My friend typically did, too, but for instant gratification, she had first taken her old phone to her provider’s store, where an employee promptly told her that if she took it to this particular big box retailer, she could save $50. She wanted the iPhone 6 (today) and the $50 back in her pocket, so there we were.

We entered at lunchtime and found the massive store nearly empty. There were maybe seven or eight shoppers and about 10 or 15 employees. When we entered, we were promptly asked if we needed assistance. My friend explained that we were there to buy a new phone, and we were told where to go.

At the phone counter, there was one employee already helping another customer. My friend asked if someone else could help us, and the person working the desk said loudly “Nope. I’m the only one here.” So we waited. And we waited. For over 25 minutes, during which the store’s alarm went off and the phone counter worker left to turn it off, because, he said, “I’m the only one here that can.”

As we waited, we realized that there was one question the other customer had asked that the phone worker was attempting to get the answer to. She was typing and typing, and seemed to be searching diligently enough. But it seemed wherever she searched; she could not get the answer.

Ironically, Bloomfire, the company that my friend and I work for, has software that enables people to easily and quickly find the answers they are looking for. It has a Question and Answer feature, like in most knowledge bases, but it’s one that makes the process of getting answers simple. I just wanted to put it into the phone worker’s hands, let her find the right answer to the customer’s question so that we could move on with our day. But we didn’t. We waited. Impatiently, but we waited. Finally, the customer gave up on getting the answer and left.

Then my friend bought her phone.

When she looked at her receipt, she realized it wasn’t right. “Isn’t there some promotion that allows me to get this for $50 off?” she asked.

“Oh, no,” the employee said. “That’s only if you buy it online.”

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