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5 Companies With the Worst Customer Service of 2015

5 Companies With the Worst Customer Service of 2015

In this modern age, companies like Yelp and Trip Advisor have made local businesses accountable for their customer experience. Search engines like Google have started to display search results using factors such as the number of positive reviews and feedback. However in 2015, monopolistic corporations are still getting away with treating their customers poorly. Here are 5 companies with some of the worst customer experience in 2015 backed by real customer horror stories and personal experiences.

1. Electronic Arts

When I started conducting polls to see which companies sported the worst customer service, Electronic Arts was one of the most mentioned companies.  While many claimed that their live chat support doesn’t answer, I personally actually was able to get speaking with someone in 5 minutes. However, I didn’t have an actual issue to diagnose so it’s hard to say if the problem would have been resolved. One customer, Deb McAlister, explained they ignored her over several forms of communications such as live chat, emails or direct messages on Twitter. Another customer, who goes by the username, The gray fox 77, stated, “why is it so difficult to get any actual help from a live body?”

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2. Teamviewer

For those who never heard of Teamviewer, Teamviewer is a remote control desktop software which allows others or yourself to remotely control a computer. This is a handy little tool, especially for hackers. After waking up one morning on October 22, I was greeted with a message that a Teamviewer session had completed, although I never gave access to anyone. My desktop background read “Your documents, photos, databases and other important files have been encrypted with strongest encryption and unique key, generated for this computer. Private decryption key is stored on a secret Internet server and nobody can decrypt your files until you pay and obtain the private key.” I had fallen victim to ransomware. All of my files were locked until I paid the $450 ransom, that’s if they decide to unlock my files after or if they ask for more money.

The first thing I wanted to do was get ahold of Teamviewer to get information on who connected. I sent them an email on October 24th, and then 2 messages on Facebook reminding them that I needed a response to my ticket ASAP. After contacting their press department explaining several times how bad this makes their company look, they finally responded on November 3rd requesting me to send log files. My first question is, why don’t they have log files on their end so a hacker just can’t delete the log files? On November 6th, I received a response explaining 2 IP addresses with the times of the connections. In the end, the IPs led to nowhere and I was left with nothing but a bad customer experience.

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3. Comcast

It’s a typical story, you have a problem with your Comcast internet or cable, you give them a call and they schedule a technician to stop by sometime between the hours of dawn and dusk and you pretty much have to write off your day to have someone to stick around to see if they show. The Comcast Xfinity forums are full of complaints of overcharges and completely ignoring vacation requests where services are supposed to be put on hold and charged a lower rate until the user is back from vacation. There are even cases where Comcast has blocked customer’s fax numbers to prohibit them from sending in legal documents proving their overcharges. Lastly, it has also been said that Comcast employees have been caught trying to bend FCC regulations.

4. Toshiba

Toshiba is one of those stocks that dropped with the markets in 2008 but never really recovered. They’ve been dying out for years, and by that, I mean losing money. The worst part about buying from Toshiba is they don’t have a customer service email. Your only option is to call, which is not always the optimal way of contacting, especially if you rather send in photos or screenshots of the issue. Not only do you have to call, but you only receive phone support if you bought the computer recently. Your free phone support does expire and at some point in time, they’ll leave you out to dry. The amount of complaints like this out there are endless. Shay from Rogers, AK said it best, “Before buying ANY electronic, I suggest you try reaching their customer service line. If they don’t have one, there’s a reason for it.”

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5. Skype

Skype was acquired by Microsoft in May 2011 and the company has been downgrading it’s user experience ever since. Take a look at the complaint in their support forums. Skype has allowed hackers to login to one user’s account, use the credit card associated with the account without verification to purchase local calling far outside of the account location, then allow the hacker to permanently change the email communications to Chinese just for the sake of prohibiting the owner of the account from understanding what exactly is going on with account purchases. As stated in the forum thread, after waiting a long time to be connected to Skype live chat, and reassuring that a higher level staff member of Skype would resolve this, Skype failed to reach out to resolve this. Even after opening a chargeback through the bank, they made no attempt to contact the customer.

While government agencies like the DMV and IRS are certainly top contenders in the list of worst customer support, the list was kept strictly to corporations. Hopefully these horror stories will make you think twice before working with these 5 companies in 2016.

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Featured photo credit: Josh MacDonald via joshmacdonald.net

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Josh MacDonald

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Last Updated on December 10, 2019

7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

7 Strategies to Keep Employee Motivation High

Highly motivated employees are essential to the success of any business. Most people spend a third of their lives at work.[1] That’s a significant amount of time away from home, apart from the people who make us happy and the things we love to do. So keeping employee motivation high is essential for creating an office environment that gets the best out of our people.

But do you know what motivates your people?

It’s simple:

  • Is their work stimulating?
  • Does it challenge them?
  • Is there room to grow, a promotion perhaps?
  • Do you encourage creativity?
  • Can they speak openly and honestly with you?
  • Do you praise them?
  • Do you trust your staff to take ownership of their work?
  • Do they feel safe in their work environment?
  • And more importantly, do you pay them properly?

Every one of these factors contributes to the general happiness of your employees. It’s what motivates them to come into the office each day and work hard, hit goals, and get results.

In contrast, an unmotivated employee is typically unhappy. They take more sick days, they’re not invested in seeing your business succeed, and they’re always on the lookout for something better.

Stats show that 81 percent of employees would consider leaving their jobs today if the right opportunity presented itself.[2] So it’s up to you to set aside time and energy to create a work environment that benefits every one of your employees.

These seven strategies will help you motivate your people to consistently deliver quality work and, more importantly, to stick around for the long term.

1. Be Someone They Can Rely On

You rely on your people to turn up to work each day, to come to you when they have a problem they can’t solve, to be honest, and to always engage professionally with customers.

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But this is not a one-way street. You, too, need to be someone your team can rely on. They trust you to have their backs when a client is unreasonable, to know that the decisions they make are in your best interest, and to make good on your promises.

If you say you’ll attend an important meeting, be there. If your company makes a profit and you’ve said you’ll pay a bonus, pay it. The goodwill of your people is something you never want to test, let alone lose.

Be reliable; it’s astounding how much this motivates your people.

2. Create an Awesome Company Culture

There’s no denying that company culture trickles down from the top. Your leadership and attitude massively influences the attitudes, work ethic, and happiness of your staff. If you’re always stressed-out, overly demanding, and unreasonable, it’ll create tension in your office which will adversely affect your employees’ motivation levels.

In fact, the HAYS “US What People Want Survey” found that 47 percent of staff who are actively looking for a new job, pinpoint company culture as the driving force behind their reason to leave.

So if you have high staff turnover, you need to determine whether your company culture might be the motivating factor behind your churn rate.

Here are four ways to build a culture that keeps your employees highly motivated.

  • Be conscious of the image you present. Your body language and attitude can positively or negatively impact your employees. So come to work energized. Be optimistic, friendly, and engaging—this enthusiasm will spill over to your people and motivate them to be more productive and efficient.
  • Appreciate your people and be reasonable. Celebrate your team’s achievements. If they’re doing a good job, tell them. Encourage them to challenge themselves and try new things. And reward when deserved. If they’re struggling, help them. Work together to find solutions and be a sounding board for their ideas.
  • Be flexible. Give your people opportunities to work remotely—this is highly motivating to staff, particularly millennials. They don’t want to be battling traffic each day on their way to work. They don’t want to miss their kids’ baseball games or ballet rehearsals. Stats show that companies that offer flextime and the ability to work from home or a coffee shop have happier and more productive employees.
  • Create employee-friendly work environments. These are spaces that inspire and ignite the imagination. Have you ever been to Google’s offices? No headquarter is the same. From indoor slides and food trucks, to hammocks, and funky work pods on the wall, gaming rooms, and tranquil interior gardens, there’s something for everyone. It’s a space where people want to be, catering to their need for creativity, quiet, or team building; you name it.

So take a look at your company culture and ask yourself, Is my business an attractive workplace for talented professionals? Does it inspire commitment and motivate my people? What could I do to improve my company culture?

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3. Touch Base with Your Team Weekly

Make time for your people, whether you run a remote business or work in an office, set aside time each week to talk to your people one-on-one. It’s non-negotiable.

When there’s an open line of communication between staff members, work gets done. Don’t believe me? A study by Gallup found that 26 percent of employees said feedback from their leaders helps them to do a better job.[3]

Your people want to feel trusted. They want to take ownership of their work, but they also need to know that when they have a question, they can reach out and get answers. If you’re unwilling to make yourself available, your team will quickly become unmotivated, work will stagnate, and your business will stop growing.

So block off time on your calendar each week to touch base with your people, even if only to let them know that what they’re working on matters.

4. Give Them the Tools They Need to Do Their Jobs Well

Imagine trying to run your business without electricity. How would you contact your clients? What would happen when your phone or computer battery died?

Technology is super critical to the success of your businesses. It allows you to work more efficiently, to be more productive, and to handle matters on-the-go. That’s why you need to give your people tools that will make their jobs easier.

Make sure their equipment is in good working condition. There’s nothing more frustrating than a laptop that takes ages to boot up. It’s got to go. Replace outdated software with new software. Don’t make your designer work in Coreldraw; give them access to the most up-to-date version of Adobe Creative Suite. Take it a step further and buy them a subscription to Shutterstock or Getty Images.

Make working for you a pleasure, not a pain; and watch your employees’ motivation levels rise.

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5. Provide Opportunities to Learn and Upskill

Would you believe me if I told you that 33 percent of people cite boredom and a need for new challenges as the top reason for leaving their job?[4] If you want to retain your talent, you need to upskill.

Thanks to technology, we live in a rapidly evolving world that demands we change with it. A copywriter is no longer just a writer; they now need to be experts in SEO, Google Adwords, CRMs, and so much more.

A pastry chef needs to be a food stylist, photographer, and social media manager. An entrepreneur needs to be a marketer—or at least take ownership of the marketing message for their business—if they hope to scale.

Technology makes all of this possible. No matter your location, your people can continuously expand their knowledge and gain new skill sets—something that’s highly motivating to employees. They want to know that there are opportunities to grow and develop themselves.

If you won’t invest in your people, then your business becomes just another job to tide them over until they find where they truly belong. So be the company that sees value in developing its people.

6. Monitor Their Workload

Overworked employees tend to be unproductive and unhappy. Your people cannot be at full capacity every day, month to month. Something’s got to give. They’ll become deflated and their work will eventually suffer, which will negatively impact your business.

What I like to do is implement a traffic light system. It helps me to keep a finger on the pulse of my business. So there’s red, yellow, and green:

  • Red means they’re fully loaded.
  • Yellow means they’re busy, but they can potentially take on more.
  • Green means they haven’t got enough to do.

I use this traffic light system because I don’t want my team members to be stressed out of their brains all the time. If they are, they won’t make good decisions and they won’t do good work.

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If my people are regularly overloaded, I have things to think about. Perhaps I need to hire a new person to help ease the load or take a closer look at what projects are good to go, and which can take a back seat.

And this is why #3 is essential. If I’m regularly engaging with my people, I’ll know that while they’re coping with their workload, it is impacting their performance and health, and I’ll take action.

7. Don’t Mess Around with Your Employees’ Pay

Never mess around with your people’s salary. As a business owner or high-level manager, it’s easy to forget that most people live from paycheck to paycheck. Delayed compensation can mean a missed bill payment, which could result in costly penalties they can’t afford or hits to their credit score.

So it’s your job to ensure that you pay your people on time.

The Bottom Line

A motivated team is an asset to any business. These people never give up. They get excited about coming to work each day and can’t wait to test a new theory or tackle a particularly tricky challenge. They’re proud of the work they do. And more importantly, they have no reason to leave.

Wouldn’t you rather be part of their success story than the business that drove them away?

More to Motivate Your Team

Featured photo credit: Emma Dau via unsplash.com

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