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The Emotional Response of the Customer Experience Posted on 19 February 2014 by John Butson Have you ever considered the emotional response of your customers during a customer service interaction? As both a customer and a customer experience practitioner, I thought I would share a recent experience from both perspectives. I’ve also included some tips for how the missteps that occurred during the scenario could have been prevented. It was 10:35pm on a Tuesday night when I noticed a bill from my credit card company, which also happens to be my primary bank. I opened it to find they never received my last payment and had assessed a late fee, an interest penalty and were demanding immediate payment in full. This stirred the first, of three, emotional responses (disbelief) as I began to assess my course of action. I decided to call the bank since they advertise 24/7 customer service and I thought they would be able to help me resolve this quickly. I was wrong. Upon dialing in to the toll-free customer service number, I experienced the second emotional response (frustration) as I was forced to sit through a rather lengthy message that addressed the recent credit card fraud issue caused by a breach of security involving one or more major retailers. This issue didn’t affect my credit card. Tip to Bank: Focus your messaging on the caller. I did not need to hear about the credit card fraud since it did not affect me. I was provided a lengthy menu of IVR choices and was posed with the dilemma of figuring out if my problem was related to my checking or credit card account. I opted for the credit card account and was subsequently put in queue for 23 minutes. A customer service representative (CSR) finally picked up my call and asked me for some basic information, which also included information I had already entered via the IVR. Tip to Bank: Staff your contact center so callers are not waiting 20+ minutes on hold. Also consider technology that records and reports data gathered from the IVR system into your CRM system. After the CSR did some research, she promptly responded that the information I shared with her did not match the owner of the credit card account and she could not provide any details or assist me. (By the way, the credit card is issued to my son under a sub-account specifically marketed for college students). After a lengthy negotiation, I convinced her to conference in my son to alleviate this objection, which, she did but then disappeared from the call. Tip to Bank: Implement a callback process when customers are disconnected. At this point, the third emotional response (helplessness) began to set in. I called back and 27 minutes later, I was connected to a CSR again. I interrupted her routine request for more information, to share my last interaction to try and expedite the resolution as it was now 11:50 p.m. She politely listened to


my explanation and then simply asked if the payment had been deducted from my checking account. I confirmed that it had. She put me on hold to call over to the Checking Account Department to confirm so she could take the next steps in resolving the issue. A few minutes later, she came back on the line with additional questions and put me on hold again. Around 10 seconds later, she returned to notify me that the checking account department had just closed, since it was now midnight. I asked to speak to her supervisor and she responded that they had all gone home. I hung up. Tip to Bank: Don’t close down your business units or send your supervisors home until the phones are clear. In my next post, I will share the final outcome of this interaction and some additional recommendations to the customer service team. John Butson – An imperfect customer expecting more Author: John Butson, Director of the client success team (Source: http://www.inin.com/blog/the-emotional-response-of-the-customer-experience/ )


The Emotional Response of the Customer Experience