As a member of the team at Feedback Ferret, I know all about ‘customer experience‘, ‘customer feedback‘, ‘customer is king’ etc. These current buzz words are what our business is all about. However, it never fails to amaze me that our personal customer experiences with some of our biggest multi national organisations can be so time consuming, arduous and often leave our blood boiling.
Take my customer experience with my mobile phone provider this week. I wanted to upgrade my data allowance on my mobile phone package. Simple enough, I thought. How wrong could I be?
My first attempt to contact their customer service department comprised a 20 minute online chat. It took 20 minutes to be connected to someone, to go through security, to establish what I wanted, only to be told that due to “technical issues” my online chat could not be transferred to the upgrades department. I needed to call customer services.
Big deep breath. I dialled the number given to me and after pressing all sorts of options buttons, I waited on hold. The music was terrible. Without wanting to sound too middle aged, it was the sort of music a teenager would enjoy listing to. The clarity of the music was also appalling – it was interspersed with static noise abit like when your radio is out of tune. 48 minutes of having my ear drums pounded was quite enough. So I hung up.
The next day I thought I’d give the online chat another go. After another 20 minutes of getting through the preliminary questions and security checks , I made it through to the upgrades department. Everything was going swimmingly (despite some appalling spelling and grammatical errors from the sales agent) until suddenly, 38 minutes into the chat and shortly before the details of my upgrade were confirmed, the connection failed.
I waited, expecting a call back (after all they had my phone number!). Nothing.
I finally got there on my fourth attempt. After 58 minutes of another online chat (with yet more poor spelling and grammar on the chat), I had made it through umpteen rounds of security questions, agreed to a host of Ts and Cs, and the upgrade had finally been made. Phew.
I thought I should give some customer feedback to my provider. After all, being in the customer feedback business, we Ferrets understand that customer feedback leads to business improvements. Doesn’t it?
I looked on their website and saw that the number for complaints was the same one I’d spent 48 minutes on hold to. However, by some miracle, after saying the word “complaint” into their voice recognition service, I was connected to a human being in less than 5 minutes. The sales agent I spoke to (who really could do with some training to improve her telephone manner) took details of my complaint and explained she would be passing it all on to another department who would contact me within 5 days.
5 days? Really?
24 hours later, I received the standard text request for customer feedback. The 6th question was the one that gave me the opportunity to tell them what I needed to tell them. Well, there was no way I could text everything I wanted to say so in my text I asked for someone to call me. I am still waiting for that call from someone who will listen. And empathise. And hopefully someone who will actually take action and DO something about my feedback comments.
Don’t let this be your company. Use a robust, end to end customer feedback process to find out what needs improving and do something to make your customers happier. It really does pay dividends.