Verizon customer service chat: How to kill your relationship with your customer

Someone needs to tell Verizon: “Customer service chat is supposed to help the customer.” Read through the transcript of this truly painful chat, and you’ll hardly believe your eyes. The customer, Marianne, endures:

  • One hour and 17 minutes of chat
  • Dialogue with no fewer than five chat agents: Kevin, Daniel, Maurice, Anoop, and Benita (not their real names…)
  • Redundant requests for her account name, e-mail address, and phone number
  • Contradictory information. One agent tells Marianne she’ll need to place an order to change the number of rings, and another tells her she can make the change herself online.
  • An absolutely galling closing, given the circumstances: “Have a nice day”
  • A 15-minute wait period during which she’s repeatedly asked to be patient

 

Now, I am usually pretty good about finding something a customer service writer can learn from each chat transcript or e-mail I share in this blog. But this Verizon chat has me stumped, as it is an extremely painful service experience for the customer and for Verizon. Because the chat is so bad, even best practices – restating the customer’s question, for example  – backfire. (See 15:06:57)

So, I dug into our archive and found some practical writing advice to share. If you want to improve your customer service chat writing skills, review these blog posts for tips.

And, in a nutshell, don’t write like Verizon.

Transcript of Live Chat with Verizon

Customer’s Question: I have my phone set up so that it goes to voicemail after 4 rings. I’d like to change it to 6 rings. How do I do that?

A Verizon eCenter Representative will be with you shortly. Thank you.
Agent Kevin has joined. (14:29:35)

Kevin: Chat ID for this session is 0123456789. (14:29:35)
Kevin
(14:29:40): Hello. Thank you for choosing Verizon and visiting our chat service. I will be happy to help you today.

Marianne (14:30:27): My question is at beginning of chat.

Kevin (14:30:43): What is your phone number?

Marianne (14:30:59): 888-123-4567

Kevin (14:31:25): You will have to chat with our Tech support team for a resolution. I can transfer your chat session if you would like.

Marianne (14:31:45): yes, thank you

This session is being transferred. (14:31:55)
This session is transferred to Daniel. (14:32:50)

Agent Daniel has joined. (14:32:50)

Daniel (14:33:25): I will be happy to help you.  In order to pull up your account and for Account Verification purposes, Would you please confirm your complete physical home address (including street, city), contact number, and the first and last name of the account holder? What is your Email address?

Marianne (14:34:43): 1234 Main Street, Anytown, MD, 888-123-4567, Marianne Jones, Marianne@aabbcc.com

Daniel (14:36:44): thanks
Daniel
(14:40:29): it wont let us permanently Change that for you – You will need to place an order with our Order Dept to Add the feature to edit/Change your Ringcount yourself. once that add that, you go to Verizon.com/fiosvoice
Daniel
(14:40:35): to do that
Daniel
(14:42:01): want to speak with them Now?

Marianne (14:42:18): Yes,

Daniel (14:42:58): ok, Again – you need an Order to Add the feature to edit/Change your Voicemail Ringcount

This session is transferred to Maurice. (14:43:18)
Agent Maurice has joined. (14:43:18)

Maurice (14:43:27): Hello. Thank you for choosing Verizon and visiting our chat service. I will be happy to help you today.

Marianne (14:43:33): Yes, This incredible, I keep getting transferred. Can you get me to someone who can actually do this. Is there a charge?

Maurice (14:44:03): I am reviewing now for you and apologize for the delay.
Maurice (14:46:18): I am working on this for you now Ms Jones.
Maurice (14:50:34): Thank you for holding. With the FiOS Digital Voice, you are able to change that yourself by going towww.verizon.com/fiosvoice.

This session will automatically timeout in 1 minutes. Please respond.

Marianne (14:53:07): I am at the webpage and I have 2 choices. Set backup number, Create Nickname.

Maurice (14:55:58): Once in, you are able to change the rings to anywhere from 5 to 12 rings. Let me get the information for you.

Marianne (14:56:58): Can someone please help me!!!! I am getting nowhere. Changing the rings doesn’t seem to be an option.
Marianne
(14:58:14): This is taking a very long time for a simple request.

Maurice (14:59:34): If there is not a link when you are signed in under Voicemail-user, then that option is not available to you.

Marianne (15:01:07): What do you mean. i started this chat a half hour ago, I must be able to do this. Can I have a supervisor or someone who an do this!!!!!

Maurice (15:01:53): FiOS Digital Voice, for the calling features is accessed through the customers account manager.

Marianne (15:03:12): Please connect me to a PERSON who can do this!!!!

Maurice (15:03:33): One moment please.

This session is being transferred. (15:03:39)

This session is transferred to Anoop. (15:03:50)
Agent Anoop has joined. (15:03:50)

Anoop (15:03:54): Thank you for contacting Verizon FIOS technical chat support. My name is Anoop, I see that the chat has been transferred to me and I will be glad to help you. May I confirm your telephone number as 888-123-4567?

Marianne (15:05:11): Yes, you are the 4th person I’ve been transferred to. I am extremely annoyed. Can you change the number of rings to 6?

Anoop (15:06:02): Sure. I help you with that.
Anoop
(15:06:08): For your account security and to assist you better, please confirm the below mentioned details:

1) Name on the account:
2) Complete address on the account:
3) A good Callback number for future reference:
4) Email address:

Marianne (15:06:57): I’ve already done this! See above!!!

Anoop (15:07:18): Okay.
Anoop
(15:07:28): Thank you for the information.
Anoop
(15:07:59): I understand that you want to set the 6 rings to the voice mail. Am I correct?

Marianne (15:08:14): YES!!!

Anoop (15:08:55): Let me check the account information and change it from my end.
Anoop
(15:09:05): Please be online for 2-3 minutes.
Anoop
(15:12:52): I am still working on your issue.
Anoop
(15:12:57): Thank you for being online.
Anoop
(15:16:48): I appreciate your time and patience.
Anoop
(15:17:18): Due to the technical issues at our end, I am unable to make it fast.

This session will automatically timeout in 1 minutes. Please respond.

Marianne (15:18:39): I’ll wait

Anoop (15:18:49): Please be online for few more minutes.
Anoop
(15:19:05): Thank you so much for understanding us.
Anoop
(15:23:50): I am still with you.

This session will automatically timeout in 1 minutes. Please respond.

Marianne (15:28:05): still waiting

Anoop (15:28:56): Yes, Let me connect to our billing team and check with them.
Anoop
(15:29:01): Please be online.

Inviting Benita to conference (15:29:16)
Agent Benita has joined. (15:29:16)

Anoop (15:29:31): Hello Benita.

Benita (15:29:31): Hello. Thank you for choosing Verizon and visiting our chat service. I will be happy to help you today.
Benita
(15:29:56): We offer Control Ring for the Voice Mail. Give me a moment to get the information

Marianne (15:30:21): This is getting Unbelievable, Please see my question above. I have been on chat for an hour!

Anoop (15:30:42): We have Marianne online. As we have technical issues at our we are unable to do the changes on the customer account.

Anoop (15:31:02): Please take care of our customer issue.

Benita (15:31:37): Yes, I am in the process of getting the information for the Voice Mail Control Ring for the customer. This will take a moment.

Anoop (15:31:47): Alright.
Anoop
(15:32:03): Thank you for your help.
Anoop
(15:32:24): I am dropping the chat from my end. You both have good day.
Anoop
(15:32:30): Thank you for choosing verizon FIOS.

Anoop has left the conversation. (15:33:35)

Benita (15:35:50): Thank you for your patience. To change your ring count for your Voice Mail.
1. Sign into your FiOS Digital Voice Account Manager.(https://www36.verizon.com/FiosVoice/SignInNewSSO.aspx)
2. Select the “Voice Mail Settings” link on the left side of the screen.
3. Select the “Telephone Settings” tab.
4. Select the number of times (between 2 and 6) you want the phone to ring.
5. Click “Save Settings”.

Benita (15:36:20): This can only be done online with the FiOS Digital Voice services.

Marianne (15:37:44): I don’t have those options, please see above.

Benita (15:38:24): Have you signed in to your FiOS Digital Voice at the link I have provided?

Marianne (15:38:38): YES!!!
Marianne
(15:39:51): When I click on the link you gave me, I am redirected here!
Marianne
(15:39:56):https://www36.verizon.com/FiOSVoice/members/Setup.aspx

Benita (15:41:47): That is correct, this site will allow you to manage your FiOS Digital Voice services online.

Marianne (15:43:33): I’m not getting that choice. I don’t have a voiceMail setting on the left side.
Marianne
(15:46:21): I can’t spend anymore tie online. Please figure out how to do this and make the change or email me with CORRECT Information.

Your session is now closed. Thank you, have a nice day.