Well, customer rights are a heavy topic, and one I’ve never been wild of addressing. It’s unfortunate that legal stuff is as integral to business as it is, because I always hated that part of it. I’m sure you’re the same way, right? The science behind legality behaves entirely in a way like nothing else, and every little discrepancy can be a colossal disaster.
So, that said, I still have to talk about customer rights, because they are a big part of this industry. I don’t want to, I don’t think I’m qualified to be seen as an authority on this aspect, but from one support person to another, while legal departments are the main ones to be dealing with this, we still need to have a good understanding of it nonetheless.
Well, if we decide on certain policies and approaches to things, and then we hear from legal that we’re crossing lines ethically or legally, we have wasted a lot of energy building and implementing concepts. So, it’s good to have a clear view of what is or isn’t okay before we begin making plans.
Now, as humans, we’re naturally ethical creatures for the most part, so it’s unlikely you or I would ever feel a desire to cross moral or legal lines. But, in an effort to make several forces play nicely together, it’s easy to cross lines without realizing it.
So we’re covering the rights that are important to customer service and support, which begins with equality of course. All customers are entitled to the same level of dedication, respect and careful handling regardless of what they paid, who they are or where they are from.
Race, gender, age and nationality should be completely irrelevant.
In that same vein, a certain level of respect and courtesy is due to all people, even if they are being hostile from their side. Rudeness, derisive speech, abject disregard or other negative or disrespectful behavior to customers is absolutely never okay.
The More Intrinsic:
Now, legally, beyond common ethics and courtesy are entitlements a customer has due to having paid for a service rendered.
There are a few common types of reasons that a contact is made in service or support. One is concern over billing. Customers have the right to challenge any bill that is out of the ordinary by their past experience. They have the right to contest billing complaints when they haven’t received a bill, and to contest late fees and other things compounded from your mistake.
Customers have the right to have every charge explained.
When a technical issue comes up, customers have the absolute right to a resolution equivalent to service fixed and damages alleviated. If it cannot be fixed, refunds are due without question.
If it can be fixed, but downtime has caused them problems, then they are entitled to reparations via discounts of a temporary nature, as nobody should have to pay for downtime, be it a second or a day.
When it comes to customer rights, there is one final point to bring up, and that’s the right customers have to publically call you out for bad customer service or anything else. Complaining or ostracizing people because they said less than wonderful things about your service, if not overtly slanderous or libelous is also not okay.