I dialed the 1-800 number and was greeted with a voice recording in Spanish, asking or telling me something, which I don’t understand, because I don’t speak the language. Question to Capital One and most any other company, is this the first impression of your brand that you would like a consumer/customer to have? After listening further, I am asked by the recording to enter my account number, which I do, and then for the last four digits of my social security number, which I do as well. After a few seconds, I am connected to a live service representative and the first words out of her mouth are, can you please tell me your account number and the last four digits of your social security number. Hello? Didn’t I just provide that information by keying it in on the phone pad? When I ask the service representative if the keyed in information was captured the answer is, “no.” Why then have a consumer/customer enter information into the system in the first place? Is it for security reasons, or is it a matter of the phone technology not being able to capture the entered data and provide it on the representative’s call screen when the call goes live?
It can’t be that complicated. And, just as annoying as this is on the front end of a call, what about the back end? In the off chance that a second call has to be made and you inquire about call notes, 9 times out of 10 there are none. So, what happened here? Either the first service representative was too lazy to enter notes, or the call center’s note taking capabilities are not up to par.
Take your pick, but most any way that a call center phone conversation is sliced or diced, the experience most often sucks.
A few days ago, Seth Godin wrote a blog post about call centers (read here), and while his post doesn’t speak directly to my points above, they are in the same ballpark from a strategic marketing perspective. Maybe, maybe, if a CMO or, heaven forbid, a CEO actually called their company’s customer service call center a few times throughout the year, pretending to be a customer with an issue, then perhaps they will get what Mr. Godin and I are speaking about. Gee, a mystery shop, now there’s a concept.
If any call center directors, managers, supervisors, representatives, etc., wish to chime in and explain the above, by all means. The floor is yours.