By Stephen Rhodes
It seems Rogers wants to re-invent customer service.
On May 3, Rogers Communications Inc., announced the launch of Rogers Live Agent(TM), promoted as the first Canada-wide business assistance of its kind. The new service targets small business customers with “immediate, direct access to a live representative” when calling for support.
The press release goes on to say “this value-added service enables businesses to connect with a dedicated Rogers representative who will manage their experience with the company, which will streamline communication and reduce time-to-resolution.”
Beyond the marketing yada yada, it seems that Rogers has discovered that talking to a real person is better than talking to a machine. I want to resist the temptation to say “duh!!!!” but I can’t.
Canada’s communication giants Bell and Rogers are notoriously uncommunicative. My fingers get tired of navigating their counter-intuitive customer service lines. Press 1 for this press 2 for that. I wait patiently to hear my concern in their long menu before stabbing the zero in frustration. I am a client of both companies and they are equally poor at understanding and addressing customer issues until under attack by a competitor. The problem is they have little competition, but that’s another story.
Rogers promises that small businesses and their teams will now have access to “immediate, real-time assistance with a customer service representative who is specially trained to meet their service and product needs.”
Now that’s revolutionary. And to make their point, they resurrect the ghost of Ted Rogers.
“While we are a big company today, it was just a generation ago that Ted was a struggling entrepreneur himself. He never forgot the challenges of building his business and that spirit of innovation and attention to detail are very much part of our corporate DNA. We spend a great deal of time listening to our small business customers and it’s their ongoing input that leads to Rogers innovations like Live Agent.”
A generation ago people answered their customers calls directly. Ted would be proud that his company has embraced this new innovation. As a big company, listening has not been its strong point.
With the growth of social media and the ability of customers to interact with companies like Rogers, listening intently is smart business. Making it easy for customers to do business with you is essential for survival. I wrote recently about Toyota and Pampers – two examples of how quickly things get out of hand when companies fail to understand the new reality.
Positioning real customer service with real people as new and innovative is a marketing ploy that most people will see through. On the other hand, maybe Rogers is starting to get it. Just maybe this will spread to their consumer products.