I have cut the cord. I am now the proud owner of streaming media players instead of cable boxes. This has both improved my experience and led to some interesting challenges. My cable company is responsible for the data connection, my streaming content provider is responsible for the content I watch and the media player is responsible for delivering the content to me.
Recently I began having some intermittent problems with my streaming content. I contacted their support center and waited on hold for 10 minutes to speak to a representative. Once I was able to speak with a person I was assured the issue was not theirs but with my streaming media player, and that they had received numerous calls from other users of this brand of player complaining of the same issue in the last hour. I thanked them for their time and contacted support for my media player. After waiting on hold for over 20 minutes I finally was connected with a technician. This technician assured me that the issue was not on their end, but with the stream coming from the content provider. This left me with nobody to turn to.
I realized that while they both had technically done their job (troubleshooting their own product), they had failed to understand the position this left the customer in. I sat and thought for a good while after hanging up the phone. Does this happen in my support center? How can we recognize customers and situations where we are at risk for putting our customers in this position? After further thought, I realized we most likely do leave our customer in this situation occasionally, and now I have a responsibility to prevent this.
I want happy customers, and I want to know that we are not leaving them with nowhere to turn in those rare instances that the issue lies between two vendors. This can blur the lines of support, but dramatically improve the experience the customer has with my team. It is the right thing to do, and I will be discussing how to implement this with my staff, my director and our account management team.
For now, the issue with my streaming content is resolved (I changed channels to a different provider for the remainder of that evening, and everything worked as expected the following day) but I will always remember the lesson their service failures taught me.