Just how much customer experience dysfunction am I paying for here?


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Last week I told you about my alarm vs. phone company customer experience drama and raised the question of what part of each dollar spent on your products and services is needed to fund your company’s dysfunction. I bet it’s more than you thought.

To last week’s point, I just received my phone bill. I usually skim my bills and just pay what’s required. This time my paranoia of dysfunction got the best of me and I started reading the bill line by line. The bill was littered with this fee and that fee. Hard line fee? Gross receipts surcharge? Fees that I’m now convinced are disguised to cover the phone company’s dysfunction because they cannot just raise the base monthly cost without everyone noticing. Then I study the alarm monitoring company’s invoice and try to calculate what the monthly fee SHOULD be – I think I have to pay the fully loaded dysfunction fee of $39 when it should be more like $29 without the dysfunction subsidy.

Is your company so heavily process-reliant that you’ve squashed common sense? Common sense that’s needed to solve simple customer issues? Is one department setting up another to fail because of lack of communication or information that then leads to bouncing your call-in customers around without a clear path to call resolution? Are your analysts running around creating reports that no one is reading when they should be reviewing the company’s speech analytics to uncover the real customer pain?

Dysfunction comes in many forms and contributes to your Dysfunction Index at various rates. My question to you this is week is what is your company doing to reduce your Dysfunction Index in 2012?

“You sent a service person to my house two times to deal with the same symptoms we’ve had on three other occasions. Everyone knows that it’s the same problem – the man I talked to when I reported it again, the lady who called to set the appointment and the service guy who called to update me on his status – but the first trip to my house was once again only to diagnose the problem. Fine for the first time but this is the fourth time and you are wasting time on this one – yours and mine!”

“Every time I review my banking statement I am surprised to see a new fee that’s slipped in there. I don’t mind paying for your service as long as I know what I am paying for and why. I never get a heads up; I have to call your customer service number to find out what the deal is. How backwards is that? You just debit the money out of the account without warning.”

“I bought a kitchen appliance recently and when it malfunctioned, I tried to get it serviced. I was bumped around to three different numbers and agents and no one could tell me who I was supposed to talk to about getting it repaired. Now I understand why you pushed so hard for me to buy the extended warranty, you wanted free money and didn’t want to work for it.”

“I tried to return your product within the trial period and you refused to take it back even though I followed all the trial guidelines. You charged me for the trial and even though I’ve tried to get a clear cut reason as to why I am being charged, no one at your facility can tell me why. Just that I ‘must have misunderstood’. Uh, maybe you’re just a bunch of crooks.”

Happy Tuesday!

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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