Hello! Well, this is slightly new to me, instead of answering your lovely emails, I’ve taken to writing today’s blog post instead. In case you don’t me know already, I’m Hannah, and if you’ve emailed us at Bounce and Bella, then you’ll have likely had an email back from me.
However, instead of answering your lovely emails, today I’m taking over with this blog post – don’t worry Darren will be back soon, I’m just giving him a well deserved day off from writing.
Hannah, Dogs and Customer Service
Before I get started on what today’s post is really about, I thought I’d give you all a little background on me.
Anyway, I’m Hannah, and I’m based in the North-East of England – that’s right an almost Geordie has been answering your emails. I’ve worked in customer service for nearly eight years now in various industries from bookshops to supermarkets to retail and phone shops before I finally ended up here at Bounce and Bella.
I’ve always been a dog lover – I had no choice as my house, and my Grandparents house were always full of dogs. For me, it’s always been Jack Russells while my Grandparents had Labradors, Beagles, Fox Hounds and even a Beagle cross Fox Hound/Bloodhound – we’re still not entirely sure!
Good or Bad Customer Service
It’s probably safe to say that we’ve all had experiences of good and bad customer services, it’s kind of inevitable for numerous reasons.
I’ve seen it myself, sometimes it’s the case of someone not being in the right job for them, or maybe just having a bad day or just had a really bad experience with a customer – especially if it’s almost Christmas time.
But then you get outstanding service too. Sometimes you’re having a bad day, and that one conversation with the person behind the counter (or email!) just makes your day, and you smile.
Sometimes even, some customer service goes above and beyond all expectations you may have. I’ve had it myself where I wanted a book from a bookshop, it wasn’t stock, and that’s okay. The next time I went in, however, despite not ordering or reserving it, the bookseller had seen one come in and held it behind the counter for me as I was regular.
I was elevated and very touched by the service I received that day because customer service isn’t just about doing the job. It’s about making someone feel a little better when they’re vulnerable and their day a bit brighter.
Beware the Big Bad Wolf
However, as I mentioned before, not all customer service is terrible and sometimes it’s the case that the person is just wrong for the job rather any other factors.
Recently, I had my own experience of bad customer service that left me in tears to be quite frank. Another thing you may not know is that during Covid I’ve been shielding and haven’t left the house in nearly a year apart from Doctors appointments, so all my experiences with customer service recently have been on the phone or online.
Anyway, my laptop’s been acting up recently. I could just turn it on and it would heat up quickly, with the fan sounded more like an aeroplane about to take off. I’m sure we’ve all been there with technical issues…
It wasn’t ideal, primarily as I use it to answer all your emails too. So, since I haven’t had it that long I called up the retail provider as they offer customer care.
Within minutes, I was connected to an advisor who listened to my concern before beginning to talk over me. She refused to do any tests or even guide me through how to resolve the issue and instead talked down to me continuously.
At one point she told me even though I might not like to go out, I would have to get the laptop seen by a technician or send it away. I was fine sending it away, but I needed something even temporary so that I could work.
Which was followed by the retort that I would just have to figure it out myself as it wasn’t her problem my laptop wasn’t working and wasn’t her problem that I chose a job which meant I worked online and that I should just buy a new laptop while this one was being repaired.
To say I was shocked was an understatement. I felt like I was one of the little pigs from the fairytale faced with the big bad wolf threatening to blow my house down!
Sometimes being a customer is being Vulnerable
Now, as I’ve said, I’ve worked in Customer Service for a very long time, and I had a wide array of customers too.
See, the thing about Customer Service that not many people realise, you’re an acting therapist in the job too. I’ve had customers relay stress and trauma to me and expose themselves as vulnerable.
I’ve consoled a lady going through a bitter divorce while selling her book. I’ve talked to an elderly gentleman for four hours as I set up his phone because he was worried as his wife was currently having an operation and didn’t know what to do with himself. I’ve helped parents distract their children and even sat with a customer as they had a panic attack.
Being a customer can be extremely vulnerable, which is why I realised the importance that when working in customer service, you need to be as compassionate as possible.
So, back to my story.
I was floored, I’ve never been spoken to like that before, and she was quite flippant. I asked how I would send the laptop to them for repair if need be, and again, it was my problem. I asked what support they had for shielding people; there wasn’t any, and it was my problem for somehow choosing to have a medical condition that causes me to be classed as ‘vulnerable’.
At that point I snapped, I was in tears, stressed and had been on the phone for almost an hour going around and around in circles with no support. So, I asked to speak to someone else, and she sounded overjoyed by the idea of being able to get rid of me. I partially expected her just to put down the phone.
Take a Breath
About five minutes later, I was connected to someone else. I was still crying and trying to calm myself down while providing the new person I was speaking to all the information about what was going on.
Instead of trying to solve the laptop issue, this guy clearly could tell I was shaken. He told me he was there, and he wanted me to go and grab a glass of water or a cuppa and sit and take a breath for a few minutes.
After that, everything felt like it was going to be alright and it turned out he was shielding too, so knew the difficulty and worry about the laptop possibly being broken.
It turns out; they could offer a temporary replacement if the laptop needed to go off for repair and operated contact-free collection. However, he wasn’t going to pursue that route and asked if it was okay for him to screen share with my laptop.
Three hours later, two cups of tea down and he’d figured out the problem was that the latest install was missing a few lines of code. He talked me through a complete wipe and restart and helped me install all my applications and got it set back up to how I needed it.
Customer Care at Bounce and Bella
So, what does my experience have to do with my work at Bounce and Bella?
We understand that being a customer can place you in a vulnerable position because we’ve experienced it too. We’re all Pet Parents wanting the best for our four-legged friends.
Like with Darren and Sorrel’s itching, he spent years quietly worrying and wondering what was wrong until he found a solution and got that sense of relief to know that Roscoe would be okay.
I’m the exact same with my two Jack Russells when anything is wrong. I worry, fret and more often than not work myself up to the worst possible scenario only to get it resolved.
Essentially, we understand because we’re the same as you, just trying to find the best care for our pets.
That’s why it’s so important to us that we find a solution to your query and support you while doing so.