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The Big Red Fez

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Whatcha Gonna Do With That Duck?

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« Trade show tactics | Main | Just one post »

Bad customer service... by design

Worst Most of us do customer service in one way or another. And most of us believe that customer service represents an investment and a commitment. The more you spend, the more you get. Companies that do lousy customer service are short-sighted or just plain cheap. So we say.

I don't think it's that simple, though.

Consider this screen shot. Possibly the single worst online customer service I have ever experienced. AT&T has online tech support (yay) in real time (super) that is totally and completely broken. Not because they're not spending the money, but because the committee that designed it is a few cards short of a full deck.

This is a simultaneous chat room, which means that each person in the room sees everyone else's questions getting answered (not useful.) Which means that it's unthreaded, so it's in no particular order (less useful). Worse, there's a 10 minute wait time after you type in your question before it gets answered. And the reps spend a lot of time waiting for people to respond, and only answer one question at a time.

The result is a traffic jam that satisfies no one.

For less money, in less time, with less software hassle, they could have used any of a number of free or nearly free systems that would be fast, pleasant and efficient. You and I could fix this system in an afternoon.

Before we jump all over AT&T, here's the real question: what's broken about the architecture of your customer service? What could you change that would leverage the effort you're already putting into it?

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Bad customer service... by design:

» Make it easy for your customers from Master the Business
When you are trying to increase your customer service, you have to remember that your goal should be to increase the ease of use for your customers. It is not good enough to establish a new system if it is more cumbersome or harder to use. Seth has an ... [Read More]

» How Can I Help You? from BootstrapBusiness.org
I ran across this in Seth Godins blog today. Ive actually been in ATTs chatroom before, waiting in a virtual line for some help with my own phone-related problem. The person who finally got to me was very helpful, but overal... [Read More]

» Designer Customer Service from Multichannel Musings
Recently, marketing guru Seth Godin took a look at a rather cumbersome example of customer service, and raised the... [Read More]

» AT from Dr. Melissa Clouthier
Well, I\'m not the only one suffering in information services HELL (no sign of the AT [Read More]

» Good customer service is the difference maker from AdWords-Articles.com
Good customer service is the difference maker and should be a part of a good business model. When customers are presented with several choices for a product or service, a few of the difference makers are Read morehow the customer is treated, did the cu... [Read More]

» Customer service rant from Richard Williams Blog
Seth Godin has inspired me write this post. If you click the link in the previous paragraph youll find seth talks about a company with the money/budget to get their customer service right, but have implemented a support system that fails spectac... [Read More]

« Trade show tactics | Main | Just one post »