In this article, there are two Telco mock calls. One issue, one customer, two different agents – Claire and Candace. Both have different ways of handling the issue. This is the difference between an okay and an exceptional customer service.

An okay customer service

Claire: Hi, thank you for calling Kwestyon Tech Support. This is Claire. May I have your name and the product serial number, please?

Customer: (Annoyed) Name? Serial number? My phone won’t turn on, and you want my name? It’s Tabitha Ratched, and the serial number is… hold on… 084309345. Now can we fix this thing?

Claire: (Mechanically) Thank you for providing the information, Tabitha. I’m sorry to hear about the issue with your phone. Can you tell me the make and model?

Customer: (Impatiently) It’s a Versa, Spectra X25. This is ridiculous. I just bought it last week and it won’t even turn on!

Claire: (Still mechanical) I apologize for the inconvenience. Have you tried charging the phone?

Customer: (Frustrated) Of course, I’ve tried charging it! Why would I call if I hadn’t? You think I don’t know how to charge a phone?

Claire: (Unempathetic) I’m just following the troubleshooting steps, Tabitha. Could you please let it charge for a few more minutes while we continue?

Customer: (Sarcastically) Uh, sure, why not? It’s not like I have anything better to do.

Claire: (Ignoring the tone) Thank you. While it’s charging, could you please tell me if you’ve tried any other steps to resolve the issue?

Customer: (Irritated) Look, I’ve tried everything I know, and nothing is working. That’s why I called you. Can you actually help me or not?

Claire: (Still unempathetic) I’m here to assist you. Once the phone has been charged for two more minutes, we’ll attempt to turn it on again. All right?

Customer: (Disgruntled) Fine, let’s just get this over with. 2 minutes, you say?

Claire: Yes, 2 minutes.

2 minutes later

Customer: Okay, it’s been two minutes, now what?

Claire: (Mechanically) Now, please attempt to turn on the phone now by pressing on the power button for about 5 seconds.

Customer: (Frustrated) It’s still not working! I’ve been charging it all this time, and nothing has changed. What makes you think it’ll change anything now?

Claire: (Unemotional) I’m sorry that the solution didn’t work. Please try holding down the power button along with the volume down button for 5-10 seconds to perform a hard reset.

Customer: (Frustrated) Alright, I’m trying that now. And… still nothing! This is useless. What else can you suggest that works?

Claire: (Unresponsive to the customer’s frustration) In that case, the phone may need to be serviced. I suggest you take it to the nearest Kwestyon service center for an evaluation.

Customer: (Sarcastically) Oh, wonderful. So I just wasted all this time for nothing? And now I have to waste more time going to a service center? Is that what you’re saying.

Claire: (Still unempathetic) I apologize for the inconvenience, Tabitha. I have followed all the standard troubleshooting steps but at this point, only our service center will be able to provide further assistance.

Customer: (Bitterly) Great. I wish I had known that from the beginning. Thanks for nothing, I guess.
Claire: (Unfazed) You’re welcome. Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Customer: (Angrily) No, that’s quite enough, thank you very much. I’ve had enough for today.

Claire: (Formally) All right, thank you for calling Kwestyon Tech Support. Have a good day!

Customer: (Hanging up, audibly annoyed) Yeah, right.

Exceptional customer service

Candace: Hi, you for contacting Kwestyon Tech Support. This is Candace. May I have the name and product serial number, please?

Customer: (Annoyed) Name? Serial number? My phone won’t turn on, and you want my name? It’s Tabitha Ratched, and the serial number is… hold on… 084309345. Now can we fix this thing?

Candace: (Empathetically) I totally understand your frustration, Tabitha. I know it might seem trivial, but it’s a necessary step to pull up your details. Let’s get your phone up and running. Can you tell me the make and model?

Customer: (Still a bit impatient) It’s Versa, Spectra X25. I just can’t believe I bought a new phone, and now it won’t even turn on!

Candace: Oh, I can see why you’d be upset, especially with a new purchase like that. I will do my best to help you with this. Quick question: were you able to turn on your phone prior to this?

Customer: Yes, for a week it was working fine. And today, it’s completely stopped.

Candace: Got it. Have you tried charging it just to rule out the battery issue?

Customer: (Slightly sarcastic, but warming up) Of course I have! Do you meet a lot of people who forget to charge their phones?

Candace: (Lightly) Oh, you wouldn’t believe it! More than you might think! (Chuckles) But hey, it’s always good to start with the basics. Could you keep it on the charger for a few minutes while we chat? This is just to make that your phone has enough power for our troubleshooting today.

Customer: Okay. It’s charging.

Candace: Perfect. Let’s keep it on the charger for a few minutes while we chat. Does the screen show any indication that it’s charging or is it completely off? 

Customer: Yes, it is. It says charging. But it’s not showing the battery percentage like it used to, so…

Candace: Got it. Have you noticed any other issues or anything unusual with it lately?

Customer: Well, I mean, I did drop it once, on the first day but it worked fine after that. I didn’t do anything with it other than make calls and surf. I just expect it to be more durable, you know?

Candace: Totally get you. These things can be a bit unpredictable at times, but let’s see if we can figure it out. While we’re waiting, did you have a good day aside from this?

Customer: (Surprised by the change of topic, but going along) Uh, not too bad, I guess. Had a good coffee this morning. Little things, right?

Candace: Absolutely, it’s always the little things that make the day better! Speaking of that, let’s try to make your day even better by getting your phone working.

Customer: (Amused) All right, fine by me. Worth a try, I suppose.

Candace: Absolutely. So, it’s been 2 minutes. Let’s try to power on the phone now. Could you press down the power button for about five seconds and see if anything happens?

Customer: (Trying) Alright, holding it down… Nope, nothing, still nothing. This is really getting on my nerves.

Candace: I can only imagine how frustrating this must be. Let’s not give up, though. Since you mentioned dropping the phone, it’s possible something got dislodged inside. Have you ever done a hard reset on a phone before?

Customer: (Curious) A hard reset? No, I’ve never done that. How is it done?

Candace: It’s just a combination of buttons that you press together to force the phone to restart. It could help if something’s stuck in the software. It will not erase anything, so no worries there. Are you comfortable trying that with me?

Customer: (Slightly more trusting) Sure, I’m game if you think it’ll work.

Candace: Great! So for the Spectra X25 model, you’ll want to press and hold the volume up and power buttons simultaneously for about 5 seconds.

Customer: (Doing as instructed) Okay, holding them now… Ugh, still nothing. It’s just dead.

Candace: (Sympathetically) I’m really sorry to hear that, Tabitha. It sounds like we’ve tried everything we can over the phone. As it turns out, it might be time to take it to a service center.

Customer: (Disappointed but appreciative) Oh, I was afraid you eventually would say that. Well, at least we tried. Can you help me find a service center?

Candace: Absolutely, and I can set up an appointment if you’d like. I know this isn’t the outcome we wanted, but we’ll make sure to get it taken care of.

Customer: Thank you. I do appreciate your effort. But it seems like that’s the only solution at this point. So let’s do that.

Candace: Got it. May I put you on hold for 2 minutes to check for available appointments

Customer: Mm-hmm.

Candace: Thank you for waiting, Tabitha. So I’ve found a Kwestyon service center about 10 minutes from your location. They have availability tomorrow at 3 PM or the day after at 10:00 a.m. Which works best for you?

Customer: (Thoughtful) Let’s go with the day after at 10. That’ll give me enough time to clear my schedule.

Candace: Great! I will now schedule the appointment for you. Simply bring your phone and all its accessories along with the receipt and warranty card. Would you like a confirmation email for the appointment?

Customer: Yes, please. Having it in my email would be helpful. It’s

Candace: Got it. After this call, I’ll send you the confirmation to your email It’ll have all the details, including the address and contact number for the service center. I’m really sorry we couldn’t fix it over the phone, but I hope the service center can take care of it quickly for you.

Customer: (Grateful) Well, you’ve tried your best. It’s disappointing, I’ll give you that, with the phone not working, but I appreciate all your efforts. You’ve made a stressful situation a little easier to handle.  Some issues you just need a service center for. 

Candace: Thank you. It’s been my pleasure assisting you, Tabitha. Is there anything else that I can maybe help you with today?

Customer: Nope, that’s all. Have a good day, Candace.

Candace: You, too Tabitha. I wish you all the best with the repair, and I hope your phone is back to normal soon. Thanks for calling Kwestyon Tech Support. Bye!

Customer: Thank you, Candace. Bye!


Notice that with both calls, no amount of troubleshooting fixed the customer’s dead phone. With both calls, she still had to go to a service center. Both agents had access to the same resources, the same policy. But why the difference in reaction at the end of call? 

While the customer was no doubt disappointed in both calls, what with the phone not working, she just sounded more annoyed and angrier in the first call, while, in the second, she sounded more accepting and even gave credit to the agent for helping. 

Make no mistake, the first agent Claire wasn’t exactly rude. She apologized, she said the standard things that an agent is supposed to say to an upset customer, but in the end, the customer just reacted better to Candace’s approach.

This video provides the explanation. Start at timestamp 09:42 to proceed to the comparison.

YouTube video

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