As a customer service nerd, I am continually observing the service I receive from the various companies I engage with as a customer. This past week I had two polar opposite experiences worth sharing.
First up, a direct-to-consumer company that provides frozen smoothies delivered to your door – blend and enjoy. Perfect for those of us looking for convenience and selection over putting it all together ourselves. I have been using their service for about six months and decided to move up a package – get more smoothies delivered each month. I logged into my account, updated my package, selected the additional flavours, and completed the order. Once done, I noticed my monthly delivery date changed, and I wanted to set it back to the original delivery date. There appeared to be no option to change this online, so I sent in a contact form with my request. Within 24 hours, I received confirmation that the delivery date had been set to the original date as requested. As a customer, I felt heard, genuinely satisfied with the resolution. I had an increased feeling of advocacy for the company (meaning I would continue to refer them to my friends).
My second experience, which is not so positive, is with a national internet service provider. Due to some connectivity issues within my home, I leveraged their online FAQs and determined I would require a Wi-Fi Booster to get the coverage needed. Upon ordering the Wi-Fi Booster, it became clear there would be an additional fee, so I submitted a contact form requesting the fee be waived. Over six days, an email conversation between myself and six different customer service agents continued to haunt my inbox until the seventh agent confirmed there were no extra charges. As a customer, I felt very unheard; it was like the agents were scanning the email for keywords but not reading and understanding my question. It was a very unsatisfying experience, and I started to wish I never switched providers in the first place so you can imagine what impact it has on my willingness to advocate for the company.
Unfortunately, I have seen this before, and the customer service gap continues to widen. Emerging companies are more agile, more eager thus able to provide a standard of customer service matching today’s customer expectations, yet larger, more established companies continue to miss the mark. My experience would say this is due to a continued lack of investment in technologies and people. When organizations put investing in customer service last, they cannot be surprised when their customer experience scores bottom out.
One thing is for sure, your customers are comparing the service you provide them against every other service provider they engage with. Hence, you are competing daily in a cross-industry landscape for the support and advocacy of your customers.
Do you have a recent customer experience (joy or a nightmare) to share?