Friday, June 1, 2012

Account Services: The Disconnect

As of today(6/1) Account Services (aka 'Retention') will once again be a bit harder to get to... if only for a moment. As of 6/1, all the previously known direct toll-free inbound lines to Account Services will be disconnected, and a new number will be issued - however this one (according to the powers that be) won't be published. Now, we all know that it will only be about... oh, maybe 1 day, before someone locates the new toll-free number, and it's made public on the interwebs once again. Agents, however, won't have direct access to the new toll-free number; they will be required to use an internal 'speed dial' like number to complete the transfer or to reach Account Services. But those that know where to look, it will still be readily available internally, just takes a couple minutes of research to find it.

Sounds like no big deal? So what's the point? Why the change? To most customers it won't be a big deal... the goal is to stop the current influx of calls direct to Account Services for issues which *should* be handled by care - in fact, this is done several times a year. The idea is that care could (and should) be handling about 60% of the issues that are going to Account Services. The problem is that calling general care is a bit like a roulette wheel. We all know this, and this small bit of change attempts to put a bit more responsibility back on general care. The truth is, that care is likely to transfer someone to account services at the first chance they get, because they don't want the negative feedback from an upset customer, so they transfer the call. And as long as the compensation/employment system stays like it is in many of our centers (both internal and our outsourced partners) this will never change.

I could talk about this for hours, but I would rather hear your feedback, and respond to that, otherwise this post would be 5 pages long - lol... it's a subject I have strong opinions on.

So I'll ask the question - does this change matter to you? 

And here's the memo that went out regarding the change to reps:
Effective Date: 6/1/12

  • On 6/1, we are changing the backend toll-free number to Account Services.

  • We will not publish this number.

  • Customers will receive a disconnect message if you attempt to transfer to this number, which will negatively impact the customer experience.

  • Specialists should make every attempt to contain and resolve a customer’s call by exhausting all resources such as CST TINC and your internal escalation process.

  • If a transfer is required, use your Softphone FCN List (sView)/Speed dial (iCare) to complete the transfer to Account Services.

  • TeleWeb Ops: Use soft keys for transfer. OS Chat and Sales Chat, direct to Order Support for transfer to Account Services.


  1. It would be nice to have a system that would record me telling my issue so I don't have to repeat it 5 times as I get bounced around like a hot potato. This would also ensure they all get the same tone of displeasure I empart to the first person.
    Each person I get transferred to would say... lets listen to your issue first.
    A person knowing they will have to listen back to what they said might tone them down a bit, which might also speed up the process.

  2. Yeah, this is a big problem with all call centers. When a company's system is set up to require an agent spend only a few minutes dealing with an issue and then discipline them for going over their times too often, you're going to get people who try to pass the buck as quickly as possible. That's just how it is. Yet, most of that time is taken up by the agent having to verify who I am even though I already entered all that information when I first made the call.

  3. [...] – Discusión General [...]

  4. Yup, those quotas and stats at call centers seem to cause a lot of the issues. Worked for a certain DSL tech support call center that wrote me up for a 18min call (our goal is 12min) in which I talked a 78y.o. g'mother living alone thru not only setting up her entire house w/ DSL filters, but had to talk her thru how to hook up her computer before I could even get her started with the registration pages. Her family dropped off a new in-box dell and the DSL install kit and told her to call us for help o.O Here I think I'm work'n miracles in 18min (she was a very smart lady) and I was written up! Then a month later they laid off 30% of the call center reps. over two weeks. They used that write up (my only one) to justify "performance issues." It can be really hard to offer kind and considerate help when that's the kind of environment you work in :/

  5. A direct line makes sense if you know the current system or what a certain level rep can handle. But although we think we know we probably don't.

    I would like to know what some of the 'trigger' words are to get to the next level. My tact has always been "here is what I would like to do...check my account status always paid,a no discount customer since 1989". Since I pay full boat I half expect concessions in the equipment dept. I'm not a yeller I figure the retention dept doesn't need any more stress or HA! entertainment.
    But, I have been shut down of late trying to get an early upgrade with that tactic. At this point I'm only a month out but even the two week early upgrade was shut down. I know new policy.

    Anyway I figure there must be some words that work. 'Verizion' 'cancel my account' etc. Problem is it becomes a bit of 'who flinches first' If I start the cancellation process how far can I go and still bring it back to status quo and get the freebie I want. Sprint has always been fair and they have probably investment spent to acquire their industry leading customer service ad campaign. It has worked for me in the past but Sprint seems to be tightening the reigns. It will take a more 'system savy' customer to uncover the hole in your navigation process.

  6. Another reason why account services handles 60% of regular care calls is due lack of training on regular care reps and knowing that AS had more power to take care of certain issues.

  7. Yeah ok, like we're not going to just ask for AS anyway...

  8. Yes..I used that number just before the change. And it was a MAJOR refreshing change. Very helpful rep that new what was going on. And she waived my activation fee on the EvoLTE. This would be something that should at least be considered for the old Premier customers.
    so...ya gonna pm me that new number????huh huh, please?

  9. Old S|P customers with over a decade of Sprint service need the option of getting a competent CSR who at least understands the problem and knows more about the system than the customer.

    Describing the usual contact with Sprint Customer Service as akin to roulette is sadly very true. Until we can drive through that first level of obstructions and get to the more competent level behind them, we can ask the same question of five CSRs and get at least six contradictory answers.

  10. I had been calling a a few times to see what they can do to make me a happy renewing customer. I got one account services rep who I talked with for a half and hour on what could be done, to find out, not much so I told him I will look into it and he told me to hang on so he could have his supervisor verify things. So after 30 minutes on hold I picked up my second phone,got another account rep on the phone and explained to him what was going on & let him listen to the sprint music that was still playing in the background. At that point it was about principle to see if he would pick up. I was pissed at that guy and so I explained to the new rep, he understood & also let me know that crappy reps do that when they think someone will give them a bad mark on a survey. I found that info helpful so in the future I can just hang up. I hate having to here a rep tell me that I've called 6 times about an issue, & I wouldn't have to if more reps would stop the bs & know what they were talking about. Over 15 years & I just hang up until I find that rep who cares enough to help me with my problem. If I have to call 20 more times it sucks, but better than hearing things you know are bs. The new rep had me talk to his supervisor who explained things better, but not as great as resolving the issue, but after talking with him & his rep, I felt more informed about my decision.