Customer Service Agent: Hi, you’re chatting with Tom, can I take your name? How can I help you today?
Customer: Hi, Tom, I’m James and I need help logging in to my account. I’ve forgotten my email address and password and I can’t get logged in.
Customer Service Agent: Okay, James, for security, I’ll need your email address to access your account.
Customer: I don’t remember my email address. I can’t get logged in at all as I don’t remember the address or the password.
Customer Service Agent: Okay, in that case, if you could give me the first, third and seventh letters of your password, I can help.
Customer: I can’t remember the password either.
Customer Service Agent: Since you cannot provide your email address or password, you have failed our security check and I cannot proceed with your ticket. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Sound familiar? We’ve all had a bad customer service experience at one point; whether we can’t get logged into a portal at work, a private banking account or maybe you’ve blocked your pin somewhere. As a first port of call, we try to fix it ourselves and then, when things are clearly going nowhere, we reach out to the service provide or support team responsible for the product we are trying to use.
More often than not, these days, company websites push us towards their live chat function, as opposed to being able to pick up the phone. Whilst live chat is great and convenient, it can often lead you into frustrating, going-round-in-circles, types of conversations.
Some companies utilise chat bots in order to answer smaller, less technical issues quickly, but the problem with that is, that they can sometimes pick up key words in your message and respond in the wrong context. Other companies use chat bots to get a conversation started (so the customer doesn’t feel like they are waiting) and then progress the chat on to a real person.
Customer service is something that often crops up as a topic of conversation. Think how many unending queues you have stood in; how many times you have been put on hold; how many cashiers have spoken to their colleagues whilst serving you. We spend so much time talking about bad customer service – and perhaps the growth of automisation has spurred this frustration on.
How a customer feels they have been treated by a company is often a key component of brand loyalty, in terms of committing to further purchases or recommending a business to their peers. Whilst live chats and chat bots enable businesses to keep in touch with customers 24/7 and avoid the dreaded hold music, they aren’t without their own issues.
Technology, by itself, is not necessarily the real disruptor. Poorly utilised technology – or a lack of understanding regarding how a system can be used to provide better customer service – is the bigger threat.
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