Can I Speak To Your Supervisor Please?

This is a re-print of a post I made on another site I used to frequent. It’s still very relevant.

I recently had to call to cancel my Xbox Live account. I thought I had ended my membership a couple months prior by changing my status on-line, but I found out somebody (oldest son) changed it back. So when the time came for annual renewal, their system automatically billed my credit card. Once I discovered what had happened I tried to e-mail Xbox support to cancel the account again and have the charge reversed, but it turns out they only handle cancellations involving refunds over the phone. So I made a call.

I phoned about mid-afternoon and naturally had to navigate through a recorded menu that if flow charted on a blackboard would stump a college professor. I patiently listened for the keyword “cancellation” and depressed the associated number. Finally a real person, who sounded like a young woman, came on the line and asked me for the last four digits of the credit card my account was billed to. Luckily I knew which card it had been billed against and I actually had it with me, so I scrambled for my wallet and plucked out the card and gave her the numbers. I waited as she was pulled up my account and then she asked me what I could do for me. I found this humorous since I followed a meticulous crafted phone menu that led me directly to her extension for cancellations, but none the less I told her what I needed. She stated she was sorry to hear that I wanted to discontinue the service and proceeded to ask me some questions, all of which I had anticipated.

Can I ask why you are canceling your account? I don’t play on-line all that much because most of my friends have Playstation instead of Xbox.

Are you aware of our Diamond Card features (an upgraded service that offers more features than just the ability to play games on-line)? Yes, I am, but it really doesn’t interest me.

Do you know of a friend or relative who could use this membership? No, like I said they all have different systems.

At this point I’m starting to get a little perturbed because it seems like the dialogue is heading in an unfavorable direction. Then the conversation takes a twist and I’m a little surprised.

“I own both,” she says.
“Both?”
“PS3 and Xbox”
“Good for you. Which one do you prefer?”
“I like them both equally. They both have exclusive games that I enjoy, but in terms of on-line games I like Xbox the best.” Her voice has taken on a more personable tone now.
“I wish you could convince my friends of that. I can’t get them to switch,” I responded.
“Do you have a 360,” she asked.
“I actually have an Xbox, 360, PS2.”
“You’re my hero.”
I laugh.
“Are you into sports games,” she asks.
“That’s a silly question”
“Have you played Madden yet?”

The conversation continued on for another 5 to 10 minutes, with the two of us casually talking about our favorite games on different systems. It was a talk between two game enthusiasts, not a customer and a support person. We came to a natural pause in our chat and she informed me she had cancelled my account and I should see a credit on my card the next billing cycle. She provided me a confirmation number and asked me if there is anything she can do for me today. I asked for her name to write down next to the confirmation number. “Mary” she replied. I quickly reflected on where I thought the conversation was heading and where it eventually ended and I made a decision.

“Mary, can I speak to your supervisor please?”
There’s silence on the other end of the line for a moment, and then, “Certainly sir, but may I ask if I’ve said or done something your not pleased with?”
“Actually quite the opposite. I want to tell your supervisor what a wonderful job your doing. They need to hear that sometimes.”
“Why thank you very much Mr. Hammons, but you don’t need to do that”
“Your right, I don’t need to, but I want to.”

She thanked me again and connected me to her supervisor. From the way her superior acted with me, he obviously wasn’t used to receiving complimentary calls about his phone support people. I told him how pleasant and engaging she was and she was not your typical phone support person. He regrouped gracefully and thanked me for the compliment.

The morale of my story . . . If you feel compelled to complain about bad service . . . you should be willing to reward good service as well.

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