In my last post, “The Emotional Response of the Customer Experience”, I shared a rather negative interaction with the customer service team at my bank. As promised, here’s the follow-up detailing what happened next and how the customer service team redeemed itself and pulled me out of the “detractor” category, at least for now.
The final emotional response (relief) occurred shortly after 7:00am when I called in to the customer service center – again. This time, I decided to attack it from a different angle, and selected the option for checking account support. After only five minutes in queue, I was connected to a customer service representative (CSR).
We went through the usual information sharing, which included a brief overview of my last two interactions and my dissatisfaction with the process I had endured thus far. The CSR immediately understood the situation and quickly identified that the payment did post, but noticed that the address that the payment was sent to, was different than the one I used for a previous payment. Then, I remembered that while setting up the payments, I had put in the P.O. Box number for the bank in the bill pay system. She assured me that it should not have mattered and that the payment would land in the account eventually since the P.O. Box was a valid address for the bank. She confirmed that they would credit back the fee and interest, and I corrected the address in the bill pay system and thanked her for her help.
As a professional in the contact center industry who is focused on the customer experience, I was especially intrigued by this situation as it unfolded. My immediate response to this situation was to identify the source of the negative experience and provide recommendations on how to make it better in the future. In the end, I did make the following recommendations to my bank via email:
- Staff your contact center to ensure acceptable hold times. 23-27 minutes is way too long.
- Refine your security processes to allow for logical conclusions. I should have been able to inquire on behalf of my son’s account since it is a sub-account of mine.
- Don’t close down your centers or send your supervisors home when your agents are still on the phone.
I did receive a canned response back to my email that included a suggestion to call if I wanted discuss further. I am not sure I will.
Admittedly, if I had sent the payment to the right address, none of this would have happened. But, customers will always make these kinds of mistakes and solution providers need to be prepared to quickly and effectively resolve the problems that are created. While the outcome of this interaction did not result in a lost customer, it was certainly costly when you consider it took three separate calls, nearly two hours of hold and talk time, and resulted in a long-time customer who will not recommend this bank to a friend anytime soon.
John Butson – Happy that I am not changing banks.