The new year has arrived. Holiday gift giving is officially over. Like other families, mine are enjoying their presents especially the electronic ones. While getting new devices and setting them up has gone smoothly, obtaining help to address product questions is easy in some cases and frustrating in others. No matter how much I love a product, if getting help requires a high level of effort, I often return the item and tell friends to shop elsewhere.
I’m not alone in my thinking. Consider the research: “94% of customers going through an effortless experience are likely to repurchase vs. only 4% of those who went through a high level of effort. 81% of customers going through a high level of effort are likely to share their bad experience with friends vs. only 1% of those who went through an effortless experience.”(Gartner, 2018)
For this reason, I continue to stress the importance of customer journeys and how companies must measure and optimize every single touchpoint (also known as “moments of truth.”) Whenever I am doing journey mapping, I typically spend extra time on the “Get Help” experience as it can truly make or break a company’s image and reoccurring sales.
Let’s look at some bad CUSTOMER SUPPORT examples and the lessons they provide. I am focussing this article on one particular channel, Online Live Chat, as I believe it can be a huge brand differentiator when done right.
Example 1: Company offers online chat for people to get help but makes them wait a long time for a response. As shown below, I tried to connect to an online chat agent in hopes to get a fast answer. On the contrary, my “wait time was 37 minutes. I was “#115 in line.” That was not what I expected and immediately disconnected.
- Contact centers need to be staffed correctly, especially during holiday seasons.
- Turn off chat functionality during hours when understaffed.
- Consider leveraging chatbots, in some cases. There are pros and cons in doing so.
Example 2: Unlike the first example, below online chat agent is available quickly, however, the representative does not know the answer to my question. I spent a few minutes reexplaining my concern and the specific help I needed. Instead of getting a resolution, I was advised to “disconnect and establish a new chat.” That made no sense, and I became even more irritated than before I reached out for support.
- Educate and continue training contact center representatives on all products. Build their customer experience skills. Check out Rutger’s CX Certification program.
- Create back-end processes to handle situations when customer questions are not simple to answer in real-time. This not only applies to online Live Chat but also company call centers as well. Learn more about “3 Call Center Mistakes You Are Making.”
Example 3: Company offers online Live Chat but makes it difficult to access help on their website. As the image shows, the individual is frustrated having first called the customer care center and had no success in reaching a person for 45 minutes. She proceeded to go online to engage in “live chat” for faster support, but could not find the button to initiate a conversation with an agent. A second disappointing experience for the same customer in one day. That should never happen.
- Companies must focus on website usability, accessibility, and efficiency of user interactions. They need to continue optimizing their sites applying User Experience (UX/ UI) principles and best practice. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, you may find “Top 100 UX Designs” by Andrew Kucheriavy to be a great resource.
- Website usability best practices must be applied to mobile as well ask desktop. Read WHY Mobile is a critical factor in winning customer experience.
Stay tuned for my next article as I share more about the topic of CUSTOMER FRICTION, featuring Shep Hyken, who explains how to avoid CX mistakes.
If you like this article, please share and follow DoingCXRight on Twitter to get timely updates. Also, Sign Up for our newsletter to continue learning how to increase your skills and transform your organization. When you register now, you will get free access to our whitepaper on how to go from CX Novice to CX Expert.
*All opinions expressed on the DoingCXRight Blog and site pages are the authors’ alone and do not reflect the opinions of or imply the endorsement of employers or other organizations.