Why do forum members know more about the product than CSRs?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by dreadlk, Jan 1, 2019.

  1. Jan 1, 2019 #1 of 42
    dreadlk

    dreadlk Hall Of Fame

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    I am simply amazed at the lack of professionalism with most CSRs reps today. When I worked for companies it was a matter of pride to be much more knowledgeable about our products than any outside person! Even if the job is outsourced to another country with cheap labor I would still think a sense of pride would compel a person to know about their limited product lines usage and setup better than a group of home enthusiasts would.
     
  2. Jan 1, 2019 #2 of 42
    MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Blame the company those CSRs work for their lack of professionalism. It's their poor training policies that turn out these CSRs.
     
  3. Jan 1, 2019 #3 of 42
    compnurd

    compnurd Hall Of Fame

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    This is literally every company that exists. And I think the biggest reason for this is no field exposure. And this applies to every industry
     
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  4. Jan 1, 2019 #4 of 42
    Barry in Conyers

    Barry in Conyers Godfather

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    Absolutely correct; companies have the level of customer service that senior management dictates.

    The correct question is why does AT&T / DirecTV senior management want / accept lousy customer service?
     
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  5. Jan 1, 2019 #5 of 42
    b4pjoe

    b4pjoe New Member

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    Because it is cheaper than good / great customer service.
     
  6. Jan 1, 2019 #6 of 42
    CTJon

    CTJon Godfather

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    CSR tends to be a beginning job that doesn't pay that well. If you are really and expert do you really want to talk to people on the phone especially ones that are having problems some of whom are probably not very nice on the phone. If you are good with technology you move up to a better job.
    Not att or DTV - it is in almost every field for first line phone responders.
     
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  7. Jan 1, 2019 #7 of 42
    dreadlk

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    The blame based on lack of training can only go so far. In the past most employees did not get nearly as much training as they do today. We got handed tech manuals and sample devices to play around with. If someone asked a question and you could not answer it you would typically try to find out the correct answer so that the next time you would not look like an idiot!

    It's like a lot of computer techs that I have met. You mention Windows and the Registry and they say oh I don't mess with the Registry because bad things can happen. Really!!! When I was learning I loaded up fresh copies of Windows and installed software and searched and made changes to the registry until i had a good working knowledge of what was what. Yeah I did mess up some of my installations but I just used that as an opportunity to learn how to recover damaged windows installations. All CSR seem to be interested in today is clocking hours and doing the bare minimum.

    I have never been a CSR but as an EE in the design department I had to present information on what I was working on and be prepared to answer questions about my designs. It was a matter of pride to be as knowledgeable as possible about what I was working on.
     
  8. Jan 1, 2019 #8 of 42
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    For a foreign based CSR, how would they gain experience using the system? One would assume that a US based CSR would have DIRECTV service and rely on it for their own off-hours television viewing - but even if a mock up was available it can only go so far as a training tool.

    CSRs are given scripts to follow ... do this, reply and the CSR follows the flow chart to the next step based on the response. if one works outside of the box they better be right - otherwise they are just wasting the company and the customer's time.



    One other thought crosses my mind when I read your thread title ... why do people here know more than the CSRs? Not all do. Thousands of people post on this site ... more read it but few (VERY few) have ALL the correct answers. When someone posts good information on this site you are seeing them at their best. And without insult intended, if you were to choose a random poster and require them to answer every question posted for 40 hours per week they'd probably fail. The few people who get it right make the rest of the site look good. Just like the CSRs who get things wrong make the entire industry look bad.
     
  9. Jan 2, 2019 #9 of 42
    slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Forum members for a place like this will ALWAYS know more than the CSRs, no matter how well trained they are. Being trained in something is one thing, having experienced a problem and fixed it yourself is another altogether.

    FWIW I've always had really good experiences with CSRs with Directv, because I have a commercial account and got a different pool of (presumably better trained and more experienced) CSRs when I called in. I never waited on hold, always had my needs handled efficiently.

    Except the last time. All I wanted to do was add Longhorn Network, and it took like 20 minutes after waiting on hold a few minutes, then having a guy try to tell me it would trigger a 24 month commit which I told him it shouldn't since I'm a commercial customer and then he typed War and Peace while I waited on hold for something that I would think would be simply checking a box on my account or something like that. At least when I called back a few days later to drop it (because there was one game on that we wanted to show so I didn't want to keep it) it went very quickly, so maybe that one call was an isolated incident. Guess I'll find out next time I call...
     
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  10. BrendanJ

    BrendanJ New Member

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    Back in the day.... long winded sorry, you have been warned.

    Most new equipment, programming, how Directv works, wh-dvr, etc was introduced through virtual power point presentations, a test was administered virtually and one needed a 80-100% score to pass *cough* get back in the queue. While one was in "training" you were taken out of the queue, not helping either the company or yourself make money, in Directv's eyes. As an aside previous csr's actual main job was to make the customer happy, not meet sales metrics.

    The back end used to contain a large easily searchable database of information named after an uncommon woman's name in today's society . She still was our dream girl and our movie starlet. Directv tossed her aside and ran a "contest" where Directv or third-party agents could come up with a new clever name for the "new and improved" information database. Someone won, but a certain Atlantic collegiate conference's name was selected instead at corporate behest. With our google-esque movie star hidden away but still accessible, if one knew where to look, webcrawler came around. That program looked a little slicker but the search results were poor. This change by itself hurt information that agents could easily access or even find, during a call while trying to build rapport.

    Thanks to this forum and my prior use of a once great companies service before joining on as a staff member, using all of Directv's systems were simple. It's didn't hurt to have access to computers and the internet from a very young age. Most kids in elementary school did not type out homework in Wordperfect - Dos.

    I moved up quickly taking supervisor calls that my team leads couldn't or did not to want to handle. Mpeg-4 market for hd locals but are being charged hd, done, etc. Whole dvr through Ethernet before swm/moca np. My retention budget was rather large for programming(free movie channels no strings) $, as well as equipment. I was able to fix most agents or tech mistakes if I couldn't I was honest with that person. Someone was lied to or didn't qualify for a such an offer. Remember certain commercials for NFL ST, well I most likely had an offer for that too, Ultimately if a customer didn't like my solution they could write a letter to Directv's President and CE0, As I stated previously I was doing the grunt work with my OM and another TL who was also informed and was constantly fixing agents and others mistakes.

    In the end, I left when my gf almost died and I needed to take a long period of time off to care for her.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
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  11. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    I think the primary answer that forum members here know more than CSRs is because the forum members are both experienced users and enthusiasts. Many have been DirecTV customers since the very beginning of satellite television service, and have worked with every generation/evolution of equipment that has been produced.

    Sort of like asking why a NASCAR mechanic knows more than a gas station attendant (dating myself - how about knows more than a clerk at an auto parts store).

    But, as James Long noted, not everyone has the right answer all the time, even the really smart, highly experienced people.

    Most of the other comments are spot on also, first line CSRs are simply not trained sufficiently to answer more than the most basic questions. And, in all honesty, the majority of customer calls who are having a problem are experiencing user error in most cases. Talk them through the script that covers most of the common problems, and you will resolve their problem.

    Lastly, the cost of supporting the 1% or 5% or whatever is not justified against the lost revenue of losing them (even when you factor in the domino effect of the unhappy customer retelling his/her story to everyone they know). It IS all about the bottom line (in any business).
     
  12. dreadlk

    dreadlk Hall Of Fame

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    While many people have accurately given the reasons as to why the things are the way they are, the defense and acceptance of this way of doing business is IMO a waste of time. It's like so many things in life, Criminals thrive on the compassion of society and bad customer service thrives on the societies willingness to accept and put up with sh...ty service.


    In today's world that domino effect can easily go Viral and turn a companies profits into huge losses.
    I hope DTV knows what it is doing because more and more people I talk to are not happy with the service.
     
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  13. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    My intent was not to justify poor service by AT&T, rather to note that the users on this (and other) forums will almost without exception know more about a given product than CSRs for the very reason they are experienced enthusiasts. It would be almost impossible to train CSRs (even 2nd/3rd tier CSRs) to have the experience and knowledge of forum users.

    I do agree, there is no justification for having CSRs who know nothing about the product and only read from a script. But I also agree, there is no business justification for having over trained CSRs. The key is finding the proper balance (and very few businesses today do that).
     
  14. dreadlk

    dreadlk Hall Of Fame

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    I know your not trying to justify it. The problem is way bigger than anyone of us, it's a systemic society problem that we have all just grown accustomed to and accept. BTW my post was not aimed just at Directv, it applies to most companies I have dealt with. A rare exception to this was a chat I had with a CSR at a company called Siglent USA. It's been so long since I had a chat with a CSR that works for a test equipment company. Those guys are still of the same caliber as the guys I used to speak to in the 1990's. They know the product, they use the product and there is nothing you can mention that they don't have an instant response for. This guy never once put me on hold or was delayed in his responses and got to the fix within a minute or so. We spent another 5 minutes just talking about the features of the product itself.

    Yep and that is a shame that they don't seem to care about the abilities of their CSR's. It's also short sited of them as one good CSR can handle 5 customers in the time it takes the dumb ones to muddle through just one problem. In most cases it seems like a lot of them are just there as place holders to gather info and then hand you over to someone who knows how to fix the problem.
     
  15. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    They have the scripts for problems that can be fixed while the customer is on the phone. For any other issue "take a message" is the appropriate action ... which includes setting up an appointment for a tech to visit the customer or collecting information to pass on to engineering.
     
  16. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    I doubt they pay very well, so they aren't going to be able to keep a 'smart' CSR. They will end up getting a different job that pays more - maybe as a CSR for a company that pays better because they value knowledgeable CSRs like that test equipment company you mention.
     
  17. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I'd rather have an intelligent CSR than a smart one. They (the ATT CSRs) need to learn how D* works and use that knowledge to help folks. The more intelligent D* CSRs migrated to departments like the Access Card department or Retention or Case Management. The D* Retention specialists could do just about anything. Right now the ATT Retention people can do little more than offer credits or route you to what they optimistically call tech support, where the script readers reside. Once you get there if it's not on the script they're baffled.

    I have had some good experiences with CSRs in other companies but the best CSRs, the folks that can really help you, all seem to work in departments where you have to pay a monthly fee for support.

    Rich
     
  18. SledgeHammer

    SledgeHammer Icon

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    I had to change my auto-pay credit card last week due to my Amazon account getting hacked. I don't use my DirecTV account much, so I clicked on Forgot Password, but the link was broken and it didn't send me the temp password. I called up the DirecTV security department (Aka, you only had one job) and got this guy who seemed to be playing video games or chatting with chicks on company time as he was super distracted. He would ask a question, I would respond and there would be silence for like a minute and then he'd randomly respond with "mmmm….". I'm hoping CES has phones this year where you can remotely strangle somebody. After 20 minutes of his "mmmm…" and 1 - 2 minute pauses, I was getting ready to hang up and try call back when the temp password finally came in.
     
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  19. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    I almost fell off my chair laughing, thank you!

    Rich
     
  20. SamC

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    My 2 cents,

    - CSR in the USA is not the greatest job in the world. It is what it is.

    - Specific to DirecTV, and not just AT&T, and I go back to the beginning and will say that relative to sports blackouts, DirecTV has "The Big Book Of Why The Customer Is Always Wrong" and the CSRs will argue you that WHATEVER you are receiving is correct. The facts are that DirecTV makes mistakes setting up the sports blackouts from time to time. Calling the CSRs will NOT result in any resolution. Unlike equipment issues, they do not have a system to "esculate" the problem to someone who understands sports blackouts and has the authority to fix problems. It should.

    - I find SXM's CSRs, apparently Indian, frustrating. Obviously they cannot have any experience with the product. A few weeks ago I sold two cars. While you can move service from one car to another, you cannot drop service without a CSR call. It took me 30 minutes of listening to ever increasing offers to not cancel. The phrase "I no longer own this car and have not replaced it" meant nothing to the marginal English speaker on the other end.
     

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