The Non-Effortless Experience


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I’m going to take a short vacation and want the Wall Street Journal delivered to my get-away.  I used their website to change the address.  I have suspended and changed delivery in the past so I know the drill.  I always received an email confirming the new instructions; this time, there was no response from the Wall Street Journal website.

Concerned, I checked the site for a record of the new address, and could not find anything.  However, a chat screen popped up and asked, “Can we help?”

I’m not usually a “chatter” but thought maybe this was the time to start.  I typed in my question, hit the send button, and was informed by a bar at the top of the screen that I was number “3”in the queue.  I thought, “nice touch.”  When I’m on the phone waiting for a customer service representative, I like that sometimes an automated voice recording tells me how long the wait will be.  It took about two minutes for the “3” to become a “2” and then there was “1”.  I was excited!  Countdown!

Then, a message flashed:  “Sorry, chat is unavailable.”  What, are they kidding?  Did the agent suddenly have to go to the bathroom, take a lunch break, or was there some kind of emergency?

I was simultaneously disappointed and annoyed.  My time had been wasted and my question remained unanswered.  I called the 800 number and did speak to a representative who assured me that the system had the new address.  Additionally, he verified my email address as well.  The rep had no idea why the chat option had failed or why I did not receive a confirmation email so I wouldn’t have had to chat or call in the first place.   He reiterated that the Wall Street Journal would be delivered on the promised date to my vacation address.

The experience was unfortunate and too much time and work involved.  Am I going to cancel my subscription?  No, the newspaper is too important, but my opinion of the Wall Street Journal’s website, procedures, and technology left me unimpressed to say the least.

I am still not confident the paper will be delivered.  Hopefully all my efforts will yield the desired result.  However, it remains that what should have been an effortless experience was the opposite.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Richard Shapiro
Richard R. Shapiro is Founder and President of The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR) and a leading authority in the area of customer satisfaction and loyalty. For 28 years, Richard has spearheaded the research conducted with thousands of customers from Fortune 100 and 500 companies compiling the ingredients of customer loyalty and what drives repeat business. His first book was The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business and The Endangered Customer: 8 Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business was released February, 2016.


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