• Administrative and technical customer service process impacts your brand in ways that are too often ignored

Customer Service & Technical Process : The Little Things Mean the Most to Your Brand

24 September, 2016

A recent interaction we had with a business (providing us with occasional service) underscored one of the most important beliefs we have here at iTristan Media Group. That a business' process and workflow will underscore how their customers feel about them far more than any visible branding, logo, or pretty marketing.

In the grand scheme of things this was really quite small – but the level of frustration it left us with has tainted our feeling toward that business. I confess this will come across as a bit of a rant.

<Rant>

This was – and is – completely preventable with the proper approach to account management, technology, automation and customer service.

In short, we were receiving incorrect messaging from this business that our payments attempts were "being declined"; the messages increasing in tone aggression and rhetoric each day threatening "suspension" and similar wording. For our part we knew that our payment should be going through, accounts in good standing, were clear for payment of this amount and so forth.

We responded to these messages accordingly. No returned response, ever. And yet the messages continued. When we finally heard back from someone, after five days, they were completely unaware of our responses.

We're a busy lot here. We prefer to spend time on our clients and products; making their businesses perform beyond expectations. Similarly, we need our providers to give us clear pictures of what they need from us quickly and efficiently. We don't want to babysit the simple administrative details of a provider's own internal day-to-day management.

Ultimately this came down to two important problems with this vendor's handling of our account : 

  1. They had no management of our emailed responses – they just never responded by human or automation
    Either an email message is accepted or it's not. When we responded to their "info@" customer service email we expect that this address – as opposed to a "noreply@" address – is being received by customer service. At the very least would return an automated response with our next step options. But nothing, silence.
  2. Their account management was providing us with incorrect information
    The issue was simply an expired credit card. But they never said that.
    Their customer service messaging lumped us is with the "declined payment" messaging, treating the issue, and us, as a "delinquent" client with all the aggressive escalating rhetoric. But they never provided clear messaging about the expiry, anything about the expiry actually. As a result we were never reminded that we simply may not have updated our payment information. It was that simple.

Put those two issues together over five days of this, and you have one very frustrated client. You think we're going to remember this? Absolutely. Why? Because this struck at the heart of our amygdala and has now made a lasting impression.

This is now their brand for us. Their administrative and technical customer service process has impacted their brand – for a very long time, possibly forever. For something as simple as an expiry date. For what it's worth we make sure that we have specific messaging that goes out to our clients when their card is approaching expiry; and wherever possible we look to make sure that messaging is as clear and to the point for our clients' needs and situation as possible at the right moment.

And that will never stop; it can always improve so we constantly look to evolve and help our clients do the same. This situation has underscored the need for us to be even more vigilant over those processes for ourselves and our clients.

</end rant>

 

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