A lot of my professional life entails meeting with clients, and my personal life involves a good amount of interaction with stores, medical insurers, airline personnel, postal workers, government employees and the like.
Collectively our clients spend billions a year on customer feedback systems and processes. Their customers are surveyed to death. Everywhere one turns there is a follow-up survey. All good. and there are so many social media: RSS, SMS, Chat, Vote, Blog! Rate! Comment!
Yet in real time, when you, as a consumer, have a real comment on a real issue? The answer, unspoken, is: NOT MY JOB. Yesterday I flew from Washington, DC to NYC, but didn’t have a seat assignment. The woman at the airline desk said I should have done that ahead of time on the internet. Hmmm, yes, I tried that, said I, but it said I could not perform that task at this time. Her response? She started complaining about all of the problems that the new customer service system was causing, and of all of the glitches, and on and on.
Trivial example, yes. I could add the US Postal Service, who gave me a Tracking Receipt for a package, to follow on the website. But one catch: the website didn’t accept the Tracking Receipt number. But the IVR in the Contact Center did. But it couldn’t find the package. And it didn’t give me an option of an agent. So I pressed, as I always do, regardless of company: 000, ### until it connects to a human, who asked me for the address of the person I sent it to, and then transferred me to a Post Office that was closed.
Never mind the times you enter all of the information in the IVR and then are told to call during working hours.
In fact, each of us has a dozen examples of unempowered service agents at the ready.
So, why do we spend billions on social media? One reason is to uncover glitches, poor processes, and customer insights. The same ones that we have spent other billions distancing ourselves from by stripping away decision making from agents, by denying them the tools to enter complaints or capture helpful hints, and by putting in endless self service options on one channel, but the survey for the experience later.
Are you over-engineering your enterprise when a bit more empowerment of the humans working for you might do the trick? It could be happening.
And for all of that Survey Data from social media, how are you qualifying its efficacy?
I’d like to hear.
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