Do you ever get the feeling that some people just can’t stop talking about customer experience and some people just can’t catch on?
I’m glad my life doesn’t include anything as dramatic as the overthrow of monarchs, but I’ve faced some dramatic differences in customer service recently.
- Don’t people know that customers can instantly share bad news to a global audience?
- Don’t people realize that customer satisfaction has a huge impact on bottom line?
- Don’t people know that customer experience is the most important thing ever?
As someone who spends a great deal of time thinking about customer experience, I’m often surprised to discover how those who provide customer service handle the responsibility. Two quick examples:
Bad CX: Unstable Cable
A few nights ago, I turned on my TV, only to be met with a blue screen scarier than any horror movie. An error message informed me that the box was not authorized and that I could call a given phone number for more information. Of course, I did all kinds of testing to see if I could resolve the issue myself, but ultimately I called the number.
During the course of my call (Spoiler: The blue screen wins.), I spoke with an agent who repeatedly asked me for the same information, expressed that I’d need to pay for a service call if it turned out to be my fault, and generally did not come off all that well.
Agent: So, turn off the box, tell me when it’s been five minutes, and turn it back on.
Me: Okay, so I’ll turn it off for five minutes. Should I call you back if it doesn’t work?
Agent: No, you need to stay on the line with me. Tell me when it’s five minutes.
Me: Okay, so you need me to turn off the box, watch the clock for five minutes, stay on the line, tell you when five minutes has passed, and then turn it back on?
Me: Okay, fine.
Agent: Thank you, ma’am. And ma’am, you have a very beautiful voice. Are you a singer?
Me: No, I’m just trying to be patient.
Not great. The agent ended up scheduling a maintenance call for me as a follow-up.
The next day, while at work, I received a voicemail that said little more than ‘This is [your cable company]. Please call us back at [this number].’
I called back and spoke to someone who told me that my case had been escalated and that I should check my TV right now to see if it worked.
Agent 2: Can you check it now?
Me: No, I’m at work, but I can check it when I get home and call you back.
Agent 2: What time can I call you?
Me: I’m not sure what time I’ll be home. Is it okay if I call this number?
Agent 2: I can schedule a call with you. How about 6?
The good news is, my TV worked when I got home, so no more calls, for now.
Good CX: Let Them Eat Muffins
It was my parents’ wedding anniversary this past weekend, so I took them out to breakfast. Since the place they chose is also a hotel, the server asked where we were from. They mentioned that they were local, and I happily (nudgingly?) told her that it was their wedding anniversary.
A short while after we received our food, the server returned with a chocolate muffin with a lighted candle on top, as well as a little chocolate sign that read ‘Happy Anniversary!’ When she handed me our check later, she told me she’d given us the local resident discount. My parents, who’d been there several times before, were surprised by both results.
See how the good news story ends so much faster?
CX, Can You Hear Me?
Is the quality of cable service I receive related to the fact that I can’t change my provider, based on where I live?
Are people in the hospitality industry just better at being hospitable?
Do organization’s leaders value customer experience enough to provide thorough and meaningful professional development for those on the front lines of customer service?
So many CX questions.
Need CX answers? Let me hook you up.