Good customer service: priceless, or How one should NOT treat bitchy customers

As I have complained already, I had trouble exporting Facebook events into Google calendar. When I tried to export, Facebook gave me an .ics file and I for the life of me did not know what to do next. For some reason I supposed that there should be a link or a button or something, and when you press it, the event appears on your Google calendar (like Eventbrite does, and, by the way, that’s how I found Google calendar and started using it: that’s what I call good customer experience). Facebook offered nothing like that, and when I searched it I only found someone’s complaint that there is no application for exporting events. I decided that the logical place to seek help was with Facebook customer service. A message exchange ensued, pretty much along these lines:

I:
– Dear facebook customer service, how can I export FB events into Google calendar?
They:
– You can export your Events while viewing the main Events page, by clicking on the “Export Events” link at the top of this page. I apologize for this confusion. Please let me know if you have any further questions, and I will be glad to assist you.
I:
– All this link does is offering me to open the same .ics file with Firefox instead of Outlook.
They:
– Our records indicate that you are able to use this file successfully to import your events into your calander [SIC! – T.S.]. You will need to contact your Gmail, if you are experiencing difficulties. I apologize for this confusion. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns, and I will be glad to assist you.
I:
– Could you please tell me, exactly HOW I must use this file to export events into Gmail calendar? (Also, please note that calendar is spelled with an “a”.) [Now, at this moment I am still unable to export events, and slightly pissed off with the whole situation]
They:
– Unfortunately, you will need to contact Google if you are experiencing difficulties with your file. I apologize for this inconvenience. Please let me know if you have any further questions, and I will be glad to assist you.

I feel that our talk turns into a conversation of a blind man with a deaf one. I start suspecting that one of us is an idiot, or maybe we both are. I enter “importing .ics file into google” into Google and in 3 seconds find a solution. I must explicitly import the darned .ics file using Google calendar’s user interface, and it is a standard operation. 1 more minute, and everything is done. I am happy. (By the way, this is how you do it.)

But then I think, WHY ON EARTH could not the customer service person tell me that outright, saving a few useless messages and her own time (to say nothing about mine)? Could she use Google in the same way that I did and tell me what she found? Of course. But SHE DID NOT BOTHER TO. I imagined my own conversation with a client:

Client:
– Dear Tania, how much will you charge for translating this text?
I:
– (this much) per word.
Client:
– How do I count the words?
I:
– My records indicate that you are able to use Microsoft Word functionality to count the words in your text successfully.
Client:
– Yes, but exactly how do I count the words?
I:
– Unfortunately, you will need to contact Microsoft if you are experiencing difficulties with your word count. I apologize for this inconvenience. Please let me know if you have any further questions, and I will be glad to assist you.

Ridiculous, right? Of course I am not responsible for teaching my clients to use Microsoft Word, but if I talked to them like in this imaginary dialogue, I guess I’d be without clients pretty soon. Hello, Facebook customer service? TAKE NOTES.

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5 Responses to “Good customer service: priceless, or How one should NOT treat bitchy customers”

  1. Meetup + Facebook + kittens « Tania Samsonova’s Blog Says:

    […] there might be such feature on meetup as friends search by name but I did not find it. However, Meetup, unlike Facebook, DOES have a “export event into your calendar” button that makes life […]

  2. Dmitry Says:

    Have you considered that supporting Google products is not really a responsibility of Facebook’s customer support? ;] You got your .ics file – job done. They could’ve been nicer on the personal level, but they’d rather have you use Facebook as a calendar (and generate them some extra ad revenue) than let you slip and employ some third party tools.

  3. oryxandcrake Says:

    Dmitry – see the imaginary dialog between me and my customer in the end of the original post 🙂

  4. Dmitry Says:

    Why, you could take it a step further and introduce word counting as a separate item on the invoice…

  5. oryxandcrake Says:

    And “consultation on using MS Office software” as another item. Great idea, thanks 😉


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