5 signs of a (very) wrong customer experience

Whenever we’re trying to get hold of a company, and regardless of the chosen channel, there are five things that define a bad experience:

1. no Consistency. I’d like very much that the same information I read on the website is the one published on the other channels, including the agents’ response. This is especially and sadly true for the public administration, where often the digital channels are not updated and the latest information is not right there, it is instead inherited from agent to agent like a bedtime story.

2. no Context. If I am browsing different channels and finally get to call the customer service, I’d at least expect them to know that I have tried other channels and possibly raise my request’s priority according to the time I am spending on the issue, not the time I am spending in the voice queue.

3. no Content. I passed the voice portal maze, the website and the app, finally got hold of a human being who doesn’t know a fit about me or my problem, or even the company I am supposedly calling, because he/she is probably working for another company in another country altogether.

4. no Care of my problem. once I gave up the self-service way and decided to interact with a human, it makes me cringe to find out how little interest the human I am contacting has towards helping me and solving my problem.

5.unsatisfied Customer. Sometimes the service is really good and the product rocks, but you still have a cranky customer that for no apparent reason will rant endlessly to and about your company.That’s just life!!

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If I were a user (#2)

Why would I want to call a number, be harassed by an automated voice and stay in a queue for excruciatingly long minutes if I can do anything by myself on a website or mobile app?

Because somewhere in your self-service or company strategy, a process is broken and the end user cannot find the answers, that’s why!

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A few weeks ago I got a package from Amazon that I did not order. I double checked my orders – being a Prime customer, I have quite a few in my backlog 🙂 – and realized I had to tell them that there was no order with that ID, although it was sent to my correct name and address. Of course I checked on the website first, to see if I could do it myself, but nope, no way I could return an item that I did not order in the first place.

In the end I had to call customer care (with an odd callback policy, but they will call you back within seconds from your request, so totally forgivable) and even the agent could not fix the issue, so they sent me an email confirming that I could keep the item as they had no way of having me return it. This is obviously a good example of customer experience: although there was a broken process within the company, they made it as smooth as possible for the end user, but how many companies can claim they can cope with a broken internal process so neatly?

It’s not enough to provide omni-channel customer care with all the latest technology and the coolest strategy, if the internal processes are weak or missing: the customer journey plan begins always with content. It doesn’t matter to plan the “how” if you don’t have the “what” ready.

If I were a user (#1)

…I’d refuse to repeat myself across different channels!!!

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This is by far one of the most annoying things about any service: you struggle with an ivr, or browse through an authenticated portal, only to find out that the information were inconsistent and wrong and when you finally, angry and frustrated after hours of bad self-service experience, reach a live agent you get the much dreaded question “Can you please tell me your name and address?”.

This sucks!