How To Fail In Customer Care: My Spectranet Story Part 1

Hi,

Before you jump to conclusions, read this:

DISCLAIMER: This post was not sponsored by any of Spectranet’s competition. Not by my beloved Ntel or Smile. It’s just a personal experience with that ISP and a few recent occurrences that triggered me to write this.

I just felt I should use my experience to talk about a few lessons I learned about Customer Care as a result of brouhaha with Spectranet.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s begin:

Once upon a time…

3 years ago, I graduated from Lugansk State Medical University, Ukraine and took a long flight back to Las Gidi.

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And right as I landed at Murtala Muhammed Airport, I knew.

Shit was about to get real, fam.

Back in Ukraine, I’d become accustomed to things like fairly constant light, good roads and bus route system, etc.

Mostly, I missed the internet- it was cheap, fast and unlimited.

Then I came back to Nigeria and most of those things were gone.

As I searched for an ISP that could meet my needs, an aunt introduced me to Spectranet.

The sales person gave me all the “senrenre” – ‘It’s 4G, you can stream with it, etcetera shmetcetera.’ And he seemed nice, so I bought the damn Dongle.

I figured that I could make do with a 5GB data plan. I was wrong, but that was fine. It was fast, and rarely had hiccups.

All was well in the world… or so I thought.

I mentioned in a post recently (on Facebook… I think) that I use Ntel now.

And a major reason why is not just because they’re cheap, they also have stellar customer care.

But I’m here to talk about Spectranet…

I noticed something every time I went to the Spectranet office.

I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe I had lower self esteem then, but I always felt like the staff were looking down on me or something.

But one thing I remember well is that they were unfriendly, and sorta didn’t take their time to actually help me with whatever issue I was facing.

Every time I thought about going to the office to pay, I felt some sort of disdain.

And after a while, I stopped going altogether…

I just let the dongle lie fallow.

A month went by, I didn’t care. 2 months, still didn’t care.

I was cool with Airtel at the time so I didn’t need the Spectranet Dongle or their data.

Then the calls began…

Sales reps from Spectranet started calling me…

They’d act all interested in why I haven’t loaded data, whilst trying to convince me to buy.

At that point, I literally couldn’t give a fork.

Every month since then, I’d get one call from Spectranet asking about why I haven’t bought data and trying to convince me to buy.

At some point, I actually started to recognize the number so I just stopped picking their calls.

Obviously, over-calling me was a very wrong move.

The last time I got data from them was early 2015, and I’ve never bought since.

Spectranet then decided to try something different… not!

They kept calling. All they did was now change the frequency of how often they did.

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It was 1 month before, now they switched it to 2 months.

And I continued ignoring those calls.

Till one day about a month ago, I mistakenly picked up…

This sales rep sorta slipped past my defences.

Damn. But okay, no wahala, let’s see what she’ll say:

I sha made it clear to her that I wasn’t using Spectranet anymore and that I was using Ntel now.

But somehow, she still ended the call with “Thank you for choosing Spectranet.”

And I thought: “What a freaking automaton.”

A few days ago, I ended up in a chat with a Spectranet rep

This was shortly after a recent brouhaha with Ntel.

I sorta was looking for other options.

She was nice, and seemed to genuinely want to correct my impression about Spectranet.

That may or may not have have had something to do with the fact that I told her:

” I’m so angry with Spectranet that I want to hammer, so I can come buy Spectranet just to break it down into little pieces and sell them separately.”

Either way, I was intrigued.

And then she made me an offer I couldn’t refuse – She’d get a mobile wifi device sent to me for free so I could experience the new Spectranet.

I was like: “Uhmm… okayyy.”

I’m thinking wow, that’s interesting.

 

But then it went wrong… again.

I got a call from someone in Spectranet who I thought she had transferred me over to.

He started off like this:

“Hello, I’m Engr. Bla Bla Bla from Spectranet.”

I was instantly turned off. And forgot his name as soon as he said it.

“I heard about your interest in Spectranet.”

I’m thinking: “What interest?”

I immediately went HAM:

“Sorry, I’m not actually interested in Spectranet because of issues I faced with them in the past”

And then he wanted me to start going into details about the issues..

The whole time, I’m thinking:

“Didn’t she hand me over to you? Why are you trying to sell me when I haven’t even expressed serious interest?”

I don’t remember how I did, but I ended the call.

 

I really don’t like when someone pulls the bait-and-switch on me

I already wrote about how The Network Marketing company, Own Your Life, did it to me here.

Anyway…

So I contacted the lady I was talking to earlier, and explained it all to her and she said she wasn’t pulling the bait and switch on me.

And she’d fix it.

I was like “Don’t worry, it’s all good.”

She said: “No. I will make sure you smile.”

I was once again sold…

…Till this morning

Another customer care/sales rep person called me and was acting like the Engineer so I swiftly ended the conversation and I was like:

“Yup, I’m definitely writing about all this.”

Then the third guy called, and I immediately picked up the call and said:

” Let me guess, you’re from Spectranet, right?”

He said yes. And then he took a different approach.

He followed me up from the previous convo I had with the lady and now, on Monday I’m getting a mobile wifi to try out.

That was a long story… now let’s talk about the lessons:

#1. The customer might not always be right, but that doesn’t give you the right to make him or her feel stupid or inferior

I know.

The 5GB plan I was buying “no get level” , but still, a customer is a customer.

Be friendly, smile, and don’t make your customer feel like shit.

 

#2. Care about your customers

When a customer stops buying, take the time out to find out why he isn’t buying and remind them why they chose you in the first place.

Spectranet lost me because not one of those umpteen sales reps that called ever tried to find out why I stopped buying or gave me something to pique my interest about Spectranet again.

Meanwhile a week ago, Ntel offered my bestfriend (who hadn’t bought data from them in 6 months) a week of unlimited data.

He was ecstatic. And then after that, they called him to offer a free month if he activated his data plan.

I mean, in the words of Sarkodie, what else?

Oh and Ntel also calls once in a while to check up on you. Spectranet calls to make sure you buy their data plan that month.

#3. Don’t be a f*****g automaton

Actually talk to your customers, not at them.

How can I tell you I don’t use Spectranet and the next few things out of your mouth is “Thank you for choosing Spectranet”?

I don’t know who she was, but if I buy Spectranet, I will find her and fire her.

#4. Hand Leads Over Smoothly

Spectranet almost fumbled the ball with that first caller.

And then he started introducing himself as “Engr. So, So and So” like I gave 2 shits.

He’d lost me after that.

And then the second caller did the same thing.

I mean… I was a cold lead and they were playing “tumbo tumbo” with me. If not for the 3rd guy, this would have been a different post.

#5. Deliver on Your Promise

Y’all would have to wait for Monday on this one.

I’m watching to see if Spectranet actually will keep to their promise or they will maybe “gba penalty lo throwing”

To be continued…

What are your thoughts?

Am I being too harsh? Or am I making sense?

P.S. If you have any other crazy customer care stories, drop it in the comments.

 

Keeping it 500,

Tomi Joshua

Author: Tomi Joshua

Tomi is The (self-proclaimed) Digital Jagaban.

He is a doctor, certified inbound marketer, student of Digital marketing, and an online business addict. He’s all about leveraging the internet to make money and grow businesses.

His purpose is to show people that their “dreams are possible”. He’s on a journey to prove to the youth that they can be more than just their degree, that they don’t have to settle for the average 9-5 life, and that they can live life on their own terms.

When he’s not busy blogging at The 500 Naira Writer, or working on his other businesses, he’s probably getting “turnt up” and dancing to the beat of his own drum (even in acapella).

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