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How can you fix what’s broke and improve overall experience when you don’t know what to fix?

How many of us have tried to complete a simple task by calling a company's customer services and received less than adequate customer service? My guess is most, if not all. Take today's mission for example, which should have been easy enough - advising our telephone and broadband provider of a change of address.

After half an hour - most of which spent on hold - I had still got nowhere. It took at least 15 minutes to get through to someone (following a game of 'guess the correct number to press' and being subjected to monotonous hold music) and when I eventually did, I needed to be passed on to another member of staff. Fair enough - this happens.

When I did get through to the correct person, the line was so faint that I couldn't hear him. Admittedly, he did call me back, allowing me to repeat my enquiry, before putting me on hold for another five minutes. And then he disconnected me.

Eventually - fed up of being passed from pillar to post and getting nowhere - I found an online form completed that. Job done.

Said company have now messaged me asking the standard NPS® question: 'How likely are you to recommend us to a friend?' My answer? 3/10.

Other questions followed, enquiring about how satisfied with the experience I was and whether my query was resolved by the advisor(s). All, unsurprisingly, were answered with low, detractor scores. But what staggered me was that, after each question, there was no close loop; not once was I asked why I answered the question in the way I did.

It's astounding that companies spend a fortune on thinking that they are evaluating their customer experience when, really, they're doing a half-hearted job and not getting the answers they need.

Quite simply, how can you possibly fix what's broke and improve the overall experience when you don't know what it is that you need to fix?

Net Promoter, NPS, and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of Satmetrix Systems, Inc., Bain & Company, and Fred Reichheld.

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