Service With A Smile: The Ticket Time Bomb

Service with a smile

How important is service to you? Even if you don't work in the service industry you have to deal with customers and suppliers, so being approachable and contactable is important.

Now I'm not going to name the company I'm referring to, I can see a few frowns on your faces, but safe to say the system of customer support this relates to is a common one.

If you deal with a large company there are usually many different channels to contact support, most common being telephone, email, support ticket or live online chat. Now if you provide these methods it's normally good practice to actually be on the other end to respond!

When supplying a phone number it's good that someone, especially between the hours of 9 and 5, picks up the darn thing or you have the ability to leave a voicemail! What's the point of a support number if there's no support?!

Naturally your next port of call is live online chat, except when you go to use it there's never anyone there to chat to! Live offline chat would be more appropriate!

And so we come to the support ticket, quite structured with various categories and status attachments, which funnily turns out to be more chaotic! You submit a ticket with your query and expect a response, a day goes by and you phone up, if you're lucky you get through to someone who then escalates your ticket to Urgent status. Thanks for that, I'm sure it'll work.

You get a response the next day saying the ticket has now been passed to the correct department, how many times can a ticket be passed round I wonder?!

If you're lucky you might get a fix within a week, if not it could be some time.

Providing a support service is key to a business, but if that service is neglected or poorly structured, you will soon start to lose custom. Don't smile through gritted teeth, give genuine support or a realistic response time.

Phew, rant over!

Image credit TheGiantVermin


Barry Welford's picture

UK Government Departments Are the Winners (?) Here

I wrote to the UK Pension Service and was told all letters to government departments take 28 days from reception until they are received by the department to whom they are addressed. What can they possibly be doing with them during that 28 day delay?

Joel McLaughlin's picture

Support and service is the

Support and service is the key part to word of mouth marketing, and word of mouth marketing is the best marketing method you can capitalize on! in my opinion of course.

Richard Dewick's picture


@Barry It's unbelievable sometimes how anything gets done, 28 days of collecting dust somewhere no doubt!

@Joel Good service leads to great word of mouth marketing as you say, check out this video of French & Saunders highlighting what is a good asset for any company, good customer service

PoLR's picture

Google It

I had a rant the other day when I sent in an e-mail customer service request to an online bookshop and got the response:

"I would recommend searching for the information you require using one of the Web search engines, such as Google."


1) Google was my first port of call as navigating their site is a nightmare and
2) What sort of customer service is that!?

PB10's picture

Automated Phone Support

complete waste of time, another money making scam by big companies. the most common equiry is always the last option, and then once you have hit '1', '2' or '3' several times they give you an aternative number.
its a lot easier to go into their branch and complain like the old days.

Jill's picture

Service is key both in

Service is key both in online and offline businesses. Since companies are more open to their customers and providers and use blogs and offer a free phone number, an email to contact them and even a free online chat channel, the least the customer and provider expect is to have somebody polite and ready to solve our question.

Noclegi Gory Stolowe's picture

When you give out your

When you give out your number you better be ready to answer it. Same with email. These days there's hundreds alternatives to your company and if contacting you is hard I will simply find someone else to do the job.

Anne's picture

It is said that you've got

It is said that you've got only one chance to make a first expression. Service is what you do, what you say, how you do it, how you say it and your response after delivering the service. If you don't reply to your mails or you're rude on the phone, your customers will just shop somewhere else.

Kikolani's picture

Live Chat

The first mode of communication I go for is live chat, simply because a lot of large corporate companies (Microsoft, for one) outsource their telephone support, generally to people I can barely understand. If you don't know what I mean, try to get Microsoft Office activated by phone.

Support tickets always seem like a waste. By the time you get your answer, you either don't care about the problem, or found the answer on the 26th page of search results.

Love the rant! It's so true - companies that have excellent customer service and support are going to get more customers by word of mouth and retain them!

~ Kristi

vb6's picture

Well Said!

I can't count the number of shared hosting places I've used that are all smiles when you are getting ready to sign up and then once you sign up you can't find a smile anywhere.