Author Topic: Not understanding . . . "Customer Service" UPDATE #19  (Read 6687 times)

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jpcher

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Not understanding . . . "Customer Service" UPDATE #19
« on: February 11, 2013, 06:34:41 PM »
Does not understanding (not language/accent-wise, but information-wise) what the person you're talking to is telling you fall into the rude category? If you have to (politely) reiterate the question in different words in order to fully understand what their answer is so that they might restate their answer in clearer terms, then are you considered a rude customer?

"Customer Service" in this instance is about talking to my specialized banker (SB) (concerning one account that I have) and taxes. I had, what I thought was a simple question.

This is a new SB for me, first time that I've talked to him. Previous SB was all over explaining things in layman's terms (easy for me to understand), which I really appreciated, but he has left the company.

When I first started talking to new SB, he sounded like he didn't know what he was talking about. All hemming an hawing, "Um, let me think . . . your question is what? Give me a minute." Then there was a response of "I think you need to do blah blah blah." I said "That's not really the point of my question, so I restated my question in different words.

True. Maybe I was completely dense in in my understanding of his answers or maybe there was a total breakdown in communication . . . he thought he was answering my question, but I really didn't understand how his ("um, maybe you should") explanation answered my question.


We went round-about for about 15 minutes. The culmination of the conversation was:

Me: "I'm sorry, I'm still not sure that I'm clear on the information that you're giving me. Are you saying that I should blah blah blah?"

SB (laughing): I'm saying that you "should do this,"* Lady!


That's when I asked to speak to his supervisor.

He put me on hold, then came back, all apologetic, and gave me the phone number for his supervisor (the main branch of the bank?) I called the supervisor, who was not available, left a message and haven't heard back yet.

Is this an escalating-worthy complaint?


Etiquette question -- okay, maybe I'm totally dense and don't have a clue but am I rude for trying to (politely) clarify answers?






*nothing derogatory, but something completely different than what my main question was.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2013, 07:14:21 PM by jpcher »

White Lotus

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Re: Not understanding . . . "Customer Service"
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 07:02:52 PM »
Nope.  He doesn't know, he doesn't know how to find out, and he is too lazy or pressured to take the time to learn.  Keep going until you get an answer or an explanation that you understand.

Softly Spoken

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Re: Not understanding . . . "Customer Service"
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 07:10:48 PM »
I cannot fathom how asking a question for clarification would ever be rude.

I think the SB needs more communication training. It sounds like he either didn't understand what you were asking and/or didn't know the answer. He should have asked you more questions if he didn't understand what you were asking him. When it was clear what he was telling you wasn't helping you or answering your question, he should have offered to transfer you to someone else who possibly could. Good CS people say things like "Let me make sure I'm understanding your question - are you asking about ABC or XYZ?" or "What part of blah blah blah doesn't seem to fit your question?"

The fact that he said "maybe you should" is a red flag that says he either did not understand your question or did not know the answer and for some reason didn't want to admit it and so just guessed at what he thought might help.

I can sympathize with his frustration, but it was no less frustrating to you. His laughing was probably a slip caused by exasperation, but it makes him come across as condescending. Whether he meant to or not, I think his choice of words made it seem like he thought it was your "fault" for not understanding his explanation.

So no, I don't think you were rude. If you ask a question and do not get a satisfactory answer, you have to keep asking until you do. It wasn't your fault that the two of you had difficulty communicating. I think the SB skated along the edge of rude when he laughed and seemed to give you a dismissive answer, and you were right to request a supervisor - either way this guy wasn't giving you the help you needed and you were right to advocate for yourself and the service you deserve.
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Marbles

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Re: Not understanding . . . "Customer Service"
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 07:12:24 PM »
Not at all! If he doesn't understand what you're asking for (as evidenced by him giving you an irrelevant answer), then it is his job to ask questions until he does. Giving you the wrong/irrelevant advice is not good service and probably has some liability issues around it too. I'm sure his supervisor would welcome the feedback, so that SB can be trained to better serve you and the many others who likely have similar questions.

doodlemor

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Re: Not understanding . . . "Customer Service"
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 07:41:56 PM »
Not only is this an escalating worthy event, I think that you may want to rethink your investments.  This guy doesn't sound professional at all.

We had a similar situation when I was involved in a local nonprofit, and we had funds invested with a bank.  Several of us went to see the investment man 3 times, and each time we left without feeling that we knew what he was talking about, or that he had explained things sufficiently.

We finally went to a professional investment service in a nearby town and bingo - everything was suddenly chrystal clear.  We changed our endowment funds over to the new service, and all was better.

LeveeWoman

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Re: Not understanding . . . "Customer Service"
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2013, 08:14:23 PM »

SB (laughing): I'm saying that you "should do this,"* Lady!

Whoa. He said "lady" instead of calling you by your name?

checkitnice

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Re: Not understanding . . . "Customer Service"
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 08:43:48 PM »
You were definitely NOT rude. His behavior was appalling.

BeagleMommy

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Re: Not understanding . . . "Customer Service"
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 11:49:19 AM »
Ooh, I would have been so tempted to say "Explain it to me as if I did NOT have a degree in finance", but that would be retaliatory rudeness.

He needs customer service training.

Mikayla

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Re: Not understanding . . . "Customer Service"
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2013, 12:07:24 PM »
I agree with PPs.  With something like finances, you just don't want to hear a lot of "umm" and "should".  And I really hope he didn't actually call you "Lady"!

I'd definitely escalate it, and I'd start by asking to change advisors or SBs if the bank is large enough.  Otherwise, I would ask for a different CS rep by name that I could ask for in the future.

DottyG

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Re: Not understanding . . . "Customer Service"
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 01:20:28 PM »
Quote
I would have been so tempted to say "Explain it to me as if I did NOT have a degree in finance", but that would be retaliatory rudeness.

No it wouldn't.  It's a very reasonable request.  I've done that before - explained that my knowledge of the subject isn't as vast as theirs, so could they use phrasing that I'm better able to understand.  I do that with doctors, for instance.  Asked them to explain it in terms that I can follow.

As long as you don't say it snarkily, it's not rude at all.  It's all in your tone - same as a lot of things.


jpcher

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Re: Not understanding . . . "Customer Service"
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 07:12:56 PM »

SB (laughing): I'm saying that you "should do this,"* Lady!

Whoa. He said "lady" instead of calling you by your name?

Oh.Yes.He.Did.

That was an honest-to-goodness exact quote (except for the "do this" part) including the laughter.

And! the "do this" part was pretty much irrelevant to my original question!

I was very surprised at myself. Once he called me "Lady" I felt my blood pressure go through the roof. It took all of my e-hell training to wait a beat and calmly ask to please talk to his supervisor.

Supervisor didn't call me back yesterday and I forgot to bring his number with me to work today. One thing that I want to ask the supervisor is for a different SB that I can talk to whenever I have questions concerning my accounts, or I will find a way to transfer these accounts to a different bank.


I understand that there was confusion on both of our parts, maybe I didn't ask the right questions, but SB certainly was not helpful.

Thank you. I just wanted to make sure that I was not an SSy customer.

gramma dishes

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Re: Not understanding . . . "Customer Service"
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 07:50:58 PM »
jpcher ~~  You mentioned that your original SB had left the company.  Do you know where he went?  Did he go to a competitor or did he move on to a different kind of work environment entirely? 

Because I'd want to follow him if that were possible.   ;D

And no you weren't rude to ask to speak to his supervisor.  I'm surprised that you haven't been called back.  Usually banks are all over things like that.

LEMon

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Re: Not understanding . . . "Customer Service"
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 09:39:42 PM »
I'm very bothered by his lack of ability.  I am very defensive of my money.  If you can't be clear, you don't earn my trust.  His "Lady" comment is beyond my line of acceptable behavior in professional someone I am trying to learn to trust.

I am also very bothered you have not been called back by a supervisor.  If I were you and did not get a call back or reach the supervisor myself, I would ask for a higher up.  Supervisor might not work all the time, or might be out of reach, but I would speak to someone so I can get my full, correct answer and address his attitude and ability.

IWish

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Re: Not understanding . . . "Customer Service"
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 09:44:58 AM »
So, you asked him a question about two very important topics: your money and taxes? Neither one ever has an acceptable answer of "ummm" or "I think you should". Not only is it not rude that you go over his head for an answer but it is imperative that you do so. And keep doing so until you get an answer that you can understand and that you are comfortable is correct.

 "Ummm", "Let me think" and "I think you should" are not going to help you much in an IRS audit.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Not understanding . . . "Customer Service"
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 09:49:18 AM »
Respond with 'Who do you think you are, Jerry Lewis?'   ;)

(Please tell me someone else got that or I'm going to feel really, really old...)

jpcher, I would definitely follow up with supervisor and ask demand to work with someone else.  Or as someone suggested, see if you can find out where your previous person ended up and follow him/her there.
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