Why Do I Keep Having To Repeat Myself


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Ok, I have one more dig at my favorite membership warehouse. I’m sure it’s obvious the establishment I am referring to but let me first say that I pay to shop there, will continue to pay to shop there, and their return policy has proven time and time again to be second to none. So that will at least temper my critique of their customer service a little bit. I guess for that matter, I’ll categorize this post as both good and bad customer service. There, I feel better.

Every other time I shop there, the cashier hands my membership card to a team member walking around with a hand held scanner. As they scan my card I think to myself “Oh great, here we go again.” The last time it occurred, the employee said “You’ve probably heard this before but…” and I cut in and said “Yeah I have and I’m not interested. Thanks.” To which they reply, “Sorry about that. I have no way of knowing if someone has talked to you before about this.”

For those of you who don’t know, they are trying to upsell me with the $100 membership that includes cash back instead of my $50 membership. They say that the cash back from my purchases will pay for the increased membership fee. Whatever. Maybe I don’t want to pay $50 extra up front to get a rebate check 9 months later. Or perhaps I would like to think one year I won’t rack up a ton in impulse spending. I do have an optimistic side.

There’s a lesson to be learned here and it’s the importance of CRM (Customer Relationship Management). I guarantee this company has an extensive history on my spending habits at their stores over the last 12+ years I’ve been a member. Are you telling me they can’t have some kind of preference on my customer record that says I have rejected the premium membership no less than ten times? Somewhere, somehow they have to be able to add something that says “Stop asking this guy because he always says no.”

I’ve been mulling over this blog post for about a week and then saw this bit of feedback on a recent customer satisfaction survey. I am reminded of a quote from Ken Blanchard that says Feedback is the breakfast of champions. Here’s what our customer said:

Generally good customer service. One improvement you could make would be to have better ‘customer information continuity’ when you hand off issues from one technician to another. I seemed to have to report my system information 3 or 4 times to different representatives. That became a bit tiresome.

Are you seeing the common theme here? In order to offer efficient support that does not give customers the run around, it is essential to have a system that allows you to document every interaction with the customer in one central location. Support representatives need to be well trained to scan this any time they speak with the customer and by doing so eliminate the frustration of the customer repeating themselves over and over again.

Jeremy Watkin
Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Support and CX at NumberBarn. He has more than 20 years of experience as a contact center professional leading highly engaged customer service teams. Jeremy is frequently recognized as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, and more. When not working he's spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis.


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