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Customer Experience

It’s time to stop paying lip-service to the Voice of the Customer


Last week Forrester Research’s lead contact centre analyst found herself on hold for 30 minutes waiting for a Bank of America agent to help. She turned to Twitter to highlight the bank’s horrible IVR app, lack of a callback facility, absence of a queue time indicator and the same continuous hold message.

frustrated man with head on desk and holding phone away from ear

Quite rightly she hashtagged the experience as a #custservfail – but why do these experiences keep on happening?

Now I personally don’t have an issue with Bank of America. However, the fact that the bank does position themselves as being ‘here to build meaningful connections that help make your financial life better’, would suggest that in this case there certainly was a gulf between the customer promise and the actual experience delivered.

I’m also sure that Bank of America has spent millions of dollars over the years investing in its customer contact infrastructure to deliver better service, and that I’ve no doubt that there are elements of its customer journey that offer best practice customer engagement. Unfortunately, the fact that service disconnects still occur reflects badly on a brand – particularly when there’s no way for a customer to back out of a queue or leave timely feedback.

This incident resonated with me following a recent holiday experience. Frustrations with changes to my original booking and the quality of the hotel facilities were exacerbated by the lack of an effective feedback approach. The fact that feedback was outsourced and was delivered through a basic survey form also suggested that my holiday firm was simply paying lip-service to Voice of the Customer.

What really annoyed me though was that these kind of issues are actually really easy to fix. If a basic feedback channel such as WhatsApp or SMS had been available, I could have quickly shared my concerns and an agent could have called me directly to help resolve them. Addressing issues quickly can actually cement loyalty, so instead of feeling unhappy with the service I would probably have been impressed if the company had responded quickly to fix things.

Given that solutions are now widely available to deliver all the structured insight needed to run effective voice of the customer programmes, I am left thinking that my holiday company not only hadn’t bothered to provide a mechanism that would let their customers leave immediate feedback, but they also probably didn’t really care too much about what I thought.

So I don’t think I’ll be going back to them next year. To find out more about how effective Voice of the Customer programmes can reduce customer effort while also delivering improved NPS, please get in touch with me at [email protected].


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