Resolved or Closed


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I’ve written before about how astonishing it is that some brands seem to be actively trying to alienate their Customers with obvious slights like specifically using the words “Do_Not_Reply” for the actual name of the mailbox when communicating.  It’s as though someone asked a hypothetical question:  “How could we best indicate to our Customers that we don’t care what they have to say nor even want to hear from them?”  And some wiseass in the Customer Care department answered them literally: “How about we do this?”

Here’s another one I get, particularly when I try to reach out to the support services in the military (although I’ve seen it plenty in industry too):  “Your ticket has been closed.”

Has it, now?

Funny, I’m still out here with questions.  This is obviously some sort of automated Jira- or Salesforce-generated (sorry, Jira and SF…it’s not your fault…although you should have consultants onboard who can explain ways your clients should and should not use your tools) message.  And it’s likely just sent out, probably when the agent replies to (rather than actually fixes) an issue.  That’s a big miss, and hopefully it only takes a couple times (ahem, military) of it being raised as an issue for someone to figure out how to fix it.

But still, it kinda sticks in the craw, doesn’t it?  Maybe worse is, “Your Ticket Has Been Resolved.”

Now that’s presumptuous.  On a technicality, I suppose you can build whatever business rule you want around how you open and “close” cases; you could open and close tickets and cases in your CRM or whatever you’re using all day long, like Nick the bartender from It’s a Wonderful Life banging on his cash register, “givin’ out wings!

But “resolved”?  Hang on there, bucko…don’t I, as the Customer get a say in whether or not this has actually been resolved?

This is actually a good example of your internal processes spilling out into your Customers’ experiences.  It may simply be an instance of an accidental peek behind the curtain that you don’t really mean for your Customers to see.  Again, you can probably address that with code or process improvements in no time.  Maybe it’s even just choosing different words for your communications. (And isn’t it a good feeling from a Customer’s perspective to get an idea that your issue is making its way through the company’s process and moving along?  That’s really what you mean to say in a lot of cases.)

But before you move on, it’s a good opportunity also to stop and reflect:  Are you considering your Customers when you solve their problems?  I know that sounds like a no-brainer, and surely many brands pride themselves on their responsiveness when something goes awry for one of their Customers.  It’s cliché for a reason, after all, that sometimes your recovery goes a long way towards providing excellent CX.

Nevertheless, as I’ve often emphasized, Customers all-too-often get caught up in our processes because the processes themselves are more important than serving the Customers.  If, for example, there’s a four-step system for, say, processing a return or some other common occurrence in your support center, I’d be the first one to celebrate the systemization of your environment.  Why overcomplicate it or add unnecessary steps.

But what’s the atmosphere there?

Is the smooth process seen by your team as the perfect tool that will allow them to know just what to do and repeat it every time with great fidelity, leaving them to show humanity toward your Customers?  Perhaps somewhat counterintuitively, having a system sometimes allows more flexibility and more personalization…If I know there are four steps in this process, I can vary within them to personalize and make the experience special for the Customer.

But that can also offer a different personality of agent the opportunity to see your Customers as numbers, cranking through an endless, faceless pile of tasks and tickets:  Wash, rinse, repeat.

Yes, systemization is helpful.  But it really takes a great Customer-centric culture to use it to its full potential.  If that culture’s not well cultivated, it can show up even when you close issues.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Nicholas Zeisler, CCXP, LSSBB
I’m a Customer Experience executive, certified Process Improvement professional, Agile Scrum Master, dynamic educator, change management strategist, and in-demand business and leadership coach. I've worked from the inside and from the outside; in organizations large and small; public sector and private; from oil and gas to technology to non-profit (with lots in between too). I've seen a lot, but I haven't seen it all.


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