By John Katsoulis, Senior Principal, CX Product Marketing
I’ve a read a lot about customer service over the past month to try and better explain where service is heading. My natural inclination was to pepper in the latest buzzwords to get my point across. But I realized that during that same period, I had personally engaged with some companies that I’m somewhat loyal to, and experienced different levels of satisfaction.
One company I deal with on a monthly basis called me about a great deal for high speed Internet. They bundled in some cable channels and threw in a home phone – all for $99 dollars. Sounds like a great deal, right? The customer service rep that called me, lets call her Sara, was very polite. Sara advised me that moving forward, she would be my “personal concierge” for any account-related issues. I decided to take her up on the offer, which by the way, cost $20 more than what I was already paying, prior to our call.
Now I’ve dealt with this company for many years. During that time, I’ve learned to expect what I call a “fine print” moment – a tiny detail that was conveniently omitted which would have completely changed my decision-making process. I’ll get to that in a moment.
I booked the appointment for the field service technician. A few days later, I realized I forgot to record the date on my Android device. After scanning my Email, I realized Sara didn’t send me a confirmation email, and I had to call back. After a few minutes I spoke to Sara. The issue was resolved. I received the email and the field service technician did the installation. All of my services were working. So far so good.
A week ago, I picked up my mail and noticed a package from this same company. Inside the package was a very informative welcome kit explaining everything from how to use my new home phone, the channels I had, how to use my new DVR and a host of other useful information. Hidden in the back of the package was a summary of the services I added, with a great discount, at a cost of $99, with a contract for two years.
The next day, I cancelled all my services with this company. Extreme? I don’t think so.
You see, my experience with other companies I do business with has changed my expectations on many levels. Take for example, an Email Provider I use that’s linked to a personal blog I use to privately post family events and pictures. My provider provides a seamless experience and has a simplified pricing model that is question free – no fine print. Not only that, but they use virtual assistants to handle simple inquiries which connect you to a live service person via chat functionality on their website. Anyone that knows me knows I prefer to call companies I do business with. My email provider has found the perfect mix of live and assisted service that fits my needs. My cell phone provider is another good example of a company that is paying attention to me, and others like me. They don’t email or send me bills because I use their app. They realize that I don’t pay my bill every month because I prefer to pay it once every two months, so they send me a simple text message to nudge me. “Hey! Here is just a friendly reminder to pay for your last two months of cell service. If you need to reach us call….”
If I was a gambling man, I’d be confident enough to bet my money on the fact that everyone has a personal frustration with a company they’ve done business with. Given my personal frustrations, I’m very happy I support a group of products at Oracle that I know will make a positive impact in B2C, especially pertaining to how consumers and companies engage with each other.
For me, getting service right isn’t just about adopting new technologies. It’s about adopting the right set of integrated tools and applications that allow an organization to truly understand me and get my service needs right. It’s about adopting technologies that enable better interactions and are predictive so that you can provide best guess data-driven recommendations. And most importantly, it’s about the developers and marketers I work with at Oracle who focus on providing the best CX products possible.
Read "Give Your Customers a Story Worth Sharing" about how a positive story travels fast and far, but so does a negative one!