As a freelancer working with a home improvement business, I was tasked with working with various departments on communications projects. I noticed there were constantly changing “rules” about what people needed to do to provide customer service and meet different department needs.
Throughout the course of a couple of weeks, I learned about tons of ways people had to “check” with each other in order to schedule and document projects – since different people had different ideas about how things should be done. Assumptions, accusations, and customer complaints were common.
The team leader who had been there awhile barely knew how the computer system worked that the team relied on to schedule projects, so he was of little help.
Here’s an example of just one of the many frustrating conversations I had with the client’s staff:
Me: Have you followed up on this customer concern that I sent you an e-mail about a few days ago? The customer called again to follow up and said she hadn’t heard from anyone.
I received a jumbled, confused response:
Client: The customer should know better than to ask about that, I mean, it’s complicated.
Then, someone from the office rushed over to my desk to further explain the issue without any resolution, looking alarmed and angry. I e-mailed the associate again to gain further clarification.
Me: Are you going to call the customer, then?
Client: I KNOW HOW TO DO MY JOB!
I might also add that yelling, high-pressure drama, and offensive language was common at this office. I left shortly after.