today's AMAZING TV AD : honda's "cog" 2 minute tv spot

for more on this, go to this post :; april 14 post.
the inspiration is mount pinatubo when some years ago, all of a sudden, after decades of being dormant, it decided to erupt, spewing debris and ash several kilometers high, blowing ashes to float everywhere, far and wide, turning the skies gloomy gray as far away as metro manila, hundreds of kilometers away, covering metro manila streets and rooftops with thick ash. the pinatubo eruption was so powerful that its ashes changed the color of sunsets not only in the philippines but also worldwide.

that's what happens when clients and advertising agencies decide to run ads not worthy to be called advertising. its dark, its huge and very irritating and unfortunately, everywhere!

all they are doing is wawam! what a waste of advertising money!

here is a first row view of Philippine Advertising and Philippine Marketing.

mount pinatubo erupts shooting ashes several kilometers high, then floating to blanket many other towns hundreds of kilometers away

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

the globe handyphone experience - when customer service turns into a disservice

we will be starting a series of articles on the customer service and call center experience in the philippines. this is the first one, with globe handyphone, first posted here:


there was a time not long ago getting some customer service was very difficult. if something goes wrong with the telephone service you subscribe to, it was not easy to get it resolved. first you might not know what number to call. if you get connected to someone, that might not be the person who can help you. if you talk to somebody, it will take a long time to get it resolved.

a silver bullet called customer relations service was invented. companies have set up these with the thinking it is best from a business standpoint to satisfy an existing customer and prevent that customer from dropping your service or product and move to competition. studies show that it is much more costly and much more difficult for a company to get new users or customers than keeping an existing one. the thinking is that you do your best to prevent your customers from dropping your service to move to other companies. this is much easier to services like a mobile service than products like toothpaste or shampoo. service companies have the luxury of talking directly to their customers, making customer retention an easier task.

modern marketing is also a very competitive one. two to three competing companies are fighting for the same customer. when a current customer is already using your product/service, it will be much easier to convince that customer to stay on since he/she already has experience with your product/service. converting a new customer puts you on stage 1 of the product preference cycle not to mention your competitors are most likely also going after the same customer.

pair the idea of customer relations with another emerging trend called the call center makes it even more potent. with call centers, dispensing customer relations will be much more efficient, makes it standard and more importantly very quick. this pair builds more loyal customers.

or at least so goes the theory.

that is the theory part because in practice, in this case with globe handyphone in particular, that might not be true at all and has the effect of the exact opposite.

we have been experiencing globe handyphone’s customer service hotline in the past weeks and this is where we are:

the first call we made to globe handyphone’s hotline service was on march 20. it has been unresolved as of this writing – now 30 days.

since march 20, to follow-up, we have made a call to the hotline number at least 14 days out of the 30 days for an average of 1 call every other day. since april 1, this was more frequent with calls almost on a daily basis. the average will go much higher if you subtract 4 days from the total because of the holy week period when there was no work.

we have accumulated a total of 6 reference numbers on the same topic and complaint

we have on file the names of at least 16 call center agents and 4 supervisors (with their corresponding ID numbers), in total at least 20 who we have talked to on the phone

we have talked to 3 supervisors who promised me they will call me back within the day to tell me when someone will call me but he/she never did

obviously, the globe handyphone customer service hot line is a failure in my case. i have been calling them for the same problem for 30 days now and it continue to be unresolved. some observations:

i don’t understand why they need to give me a separate reference number every time i call when it is exactly the same topic. towards the end, i refused to accept a new reference number as having a new one gives it a more recent time stamp and just delays the call back time aside from the fact that it is just confusing.

every time i called them, they will tell me someone will call me within 3 to 5 working days.

first, i don’t understand why it will take them 3 to 5 working days. taking a full work week i think is just too long. that is extremely slow service specially when it is to resolove a problem. it will take half a day to stop subscription and move to another mobile company.

saying each time someone will call you in 3 to 5 working days just extends the period. they actually never called back. it has been 12 working days since april 1 and no one has called me back yet. it has been 11 working days since april 2 and no one has called me back either. the list goes on.

the call center agents keep asking me for my number where they can call me back. this question kills me and is most irritating. i am a subscriber to their cell phone service why will they not know how to call me? is my cell phone number not in their record? i have also given them my landline number a long time ago, they did not keep that on file?

that is the same problem with my email address. one of the agents asked for my email address. i gave it to them but 5 days after, talking to another call center agent, she asks me again for my email address. that means the first person who asked me the info did not file it in their system.

what is the point of asking a customers for their contact numbers and email address when they don’t bother to save it in their system?

they also have this habit of asking for the past history of the calls when these are supposed to be recorded in their system. we would be asked when and with whom we have talked to during previous calla.

instead of answering, we asked them – do you have my file open on your monitor? a few would say yes. most will ask for 30 seconds to open my record on their computer. i don’t understand this – why would they not open my record at the start of the call?

then i ask another question – can you not see the history of my calls on your computer screen? the answer is yes sir, it’s here. so we ask – why are you asking that question when you will know the answer just by looking at your computer screen? no reply. then change topic.

customer relations dispensed through call centers is supposed to make customer servicing much more efficient and quicker. my experience so far with globe handyphone is it is mostly inefficient and very much slow. the whole system simply does not work nor is it giving globe the speed and efficiency they were supposed to get in investing in computer systems and hiring or outsourcing call center services.

neither are their customers happier and more satisfied with their service. if at all this customer is angrier and more disappointed at the kind of service they were giving us. we have been a globe handyphone customer for the past 11 years and never missed paying a single monthly bill. this is my first major call to them that is service related. we have made no more than 4 calls within that 11 year period. globe is making a lot of money out of my subscription to their service – monthly bills paid on time for 11 years and with only 5 calls made to their call center. we are not a bother to them and we pay them good money.

the systems they have put in place, the customer service and call center facility is meant to make things easier and faster for customers, our experience with them so far is anything but fats and efficient.

the above customer service experience is just on the first level in resolving the issue we have brought to them. apparently there is another department who is in charge of resolving the issue. unfortunately it is this other department that has been very unresponsive.

all the call center agents and supervisors we have talked to have said they have sent urgent requests to have my issue resolved by that other department. it is also the other department who is supposed to call me about my problem. it looks like the continuing problems i have been encountering with them is being caused by that other department.

the name of the department — the Loyalty Group or the Customer Relations Management.

we think it is the ultimate irony that the department who has been unresponsive to a customer relations complaint is the one in charge of “loyalty” and “customer relations”.

the experience so far, for the past 30 days is one that does not inspire loyalty to globe handyphone on our side nor do we think their non-action and unresponsiveness is good “customer relations”. for sure the mission of the department is to “build loyalty” among current customers and to “ensure good customer relations” among subscribers.

with this performance and the way they have set up their system – what then is the point of putting up a “loyalty group” and a “customer relations group”?

tomorrow will be 31 days of unresolved loyalty and customer relations for us.

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