Thursday, June 22, 2006

AOL and Vincent Ferrari

If you haven't heard this story yet, here's the overview:

An incredible video from CNBC shows an AOL customer trying to cancel his account, but a phone rep won't let him do it. What customer Vincent Ferrari got when he tried to cancel his account was a lot of frustration.

I think I know what is going on here. Those reps are being taught pretty standard sales/customer service techniques. It is probably being pounded into them that they need to get to the heart of a customer's objections by asking them questions, and then to resolve the customer's problem. They are also probably being trained that they are not doing their job if they do not try to overcome the no and get to the heart of the matter, the objection. Their calls are likely being monitored, and they are trying to impress their superiors by using all of the techniques that they've been taught. Unfortunately, there are occasionally business relationships that cannot be salvaged right then and there. In those instances, the rep really needs to let the situation go and hopefully leave at least a positive impression in the departing customer's mind in the hopes they can get another chance at that business down the road. This one clearly did not do that, but he also probably never thought it was an acceptable option.

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