Customer Service Is For Everyone
“Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” ~Henry Winkler
Instant Gratification Can Come At A Great Cost
If you visited Bold Blind Beauty over the past two days you probably found the site was down. So what happened and how was the issue resolved?
Since accessibility is of the utmost importance, I am working with someone to make BBB fully accessible. The process involved moving the site to a self-hosting platform. In preparation, my accessibility guy spoke with the host company as did I with a list of extensive questions. Everything was copacetic until it wasn’t.
The process began by live chat around 5:00 or so Wednesday evening. After speaking with a wonderful sales representative from the hosting platform, I felt confident about my decision. Once signed up with the new service the sales rep turned me over to a technical professional.
Typically, I don’t explain my sight impairment but in this situation, I wanted the hosting company to understand my needs. After fours years of hard work, I wasn’t in the mood to lose all of Bold Blind Beauty’s content. Each person I spoke to assured me everything was going to be “smooth and easy.” This should have been a red flag.
By Thursday, while I appeared cool and calm on social media, in reality, I was losing my mind. I was “live chatting” with the hosting company throughout the day while taking screenshots of our conversations. Since I couldn’t access my content all sorts of nightmare scenarios were floating through my head. Even though I had a backup of the site my nerves were on edge because of the downtime.
On Friday morning I awoke with new determination; I was going to go back to WordPress. The first thing I did was contact the hosting company and requested transcripts of all my chats. Then I contacted WordPress, explained what happened and was able to put a temporary solution in place. Once I had the transcripts, I canceled the transfer of the domain to the hosting company and requested a refund.
Customer Service In A Fast Paced Digital World
We are living in a world full of 1-800 numbers, big box stores, and at least a bazillion online service organizations. Gone are the days of rabbit ears, phone booths, taxicabs, and ice boxes. In exchange for instant gratification, customer service can go by the wayside.
Today, if we make a call we may find ourselves in the ninth circle of voicemail hell. Don’t even get me started on interacting with internet service providers, cable, cell phone, and utility companies. Then we have scripted, off-shore call centers where cultural challenges can be barriers to a satisfactory experience.
Life is challenging for everyone. For people with disabilities (PWDs) working hard to find ways to adapt can be especially frustrating. While we still have a long way to go, we have made some strides:
- Social changes in society have led to greater enlightenment. Remember the days when PWDs were institutionalized for their entire lives?
- Legal protections are in place for protected groups. Acts of discrimination are against the law.
- Rapid change in technology has allowed PWDs to connect with the world around us like never before.
- PWDs work very hard to assimilate because this is the world in which we live.
Breaking down barriers is hard, never-ending, and necessary work. So when we deal with customer service representatives who can’t respond to our needs it compounds our challenges. Makes one wonder where the care is in customer care.
Even with the barriers and other challenges presented to us, there is an opportunity for positive change. Here at Bold Blind Beauty, we are empowering blind women to transcend barriers and live productive and fulfilling lives.
My SITE may have gone down but my SIGHT is focused on moving forward.