How high is your Dysfunction Index?


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Services for homeowners are intertwined. I need a phone line for my alarm system to be monitored properly. What happens when the alarm system cannot connect to the phone and neither the phone service company nor the alarm company will cop to the issue or help me resolve it? The alarm company says it’s a phone issue, the phone company says it’s an alarm issue and the result is one frustrated customer with nowhere to turn for resolution. We are all paying for your dysfunction. What part of each dollar for your product or service is needed to fund your company’s dysfunction? This is a serious question that I am asking you!

The alarm company’s call center agent didn’t have access to the needed data, or the skills to help me troubleshoot the problem. I am paying toward the existence of the call center but there isn’t a process in place to help the agents in a situation like this. And while the phone company was able to connect me to a tech over the phone to help me troubleshoot the problem, it took over an hour before he asked to call me on my home phone line to test to see if the line was working. Geez, how much did that cost because no one asked that question in the beginning? Cha-ching to the Dysfunction Index money because the highly scripted agent didn’t use common sense to simply place a call to the phone line to check it.

This alarm company vs. phone company saga goes on and on but at the end of the day, I’m left to not only solve my problems myself but I have to also pay for their dysfunction as part of my monthly bill. The level of customer effort exerted by me to do business with them was painfully high. And when you are exerting a lot of effort as a customer, you know that the Dysfunction Index is high and it’s costing you money as a customer. Kind of throws the whole relationship building and customer experience strategies right out of the window, doesn’t it? We see this problem again and again and the customer ends up feeling the pain in time wasted, in frustrating phone calls, and even in higher service rates to pay for a high Dysfunction Index. How do you lead on the road to functional?

“I was trying to make a return for a faulty product and when I called to get an RMA number and explain my situation, the agent clearly wasn’t following what I was talking about. First I got transferred to the repair department and when they couldn’t help me I was transferred back to the customer service department to do the return where I was told I couldn’t return my item. I wasted an entire morning dealing with this.”

“I have called my insurance company no less than a dozen times about an office visit that should be covered under my plan. They constantly tell me they will re-issue the payment check for my doctor’s office and I keep getting calls from my doctor’s office telling me that they haven’t received any payment. I’ve been in the middle of this issue for more than 6 months and I’m sick of it!”

“I keep getting email offers to join your service and I am already a member. The deals you’re offering in the emails are far better than what I’m currently paying. So to me it’s very clear that 1) you don’t value the customers you do have to give them better offers and 2) the people making your marketing lists don’t bump it up against your customer list. It looks very sloppy to me and, yea, I’m so important. That was sarcasm, by the way.”

Happy Monday!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jodie Monger
Jodie Monger, Ph.D. is the president of Customer Relationship Metrics (CRM) and a pioneer in business intelligence for the contact center industry. Dr. Jodie's work at CRM focuses on converting unstructured data into structured data for business action. Her research areas include customer experience, speech and operational analytics. Before founding CRM, she was the founding associate director of Purdue University's Center for Customer-Driven Quality.


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