In the New York area, we have something called EZ Pass which is a tag in your car which allows the Bridges and Tolls Authority to collect its fee for maintaining the roads. Many states have similar passes. Recently, I leased a new car, so I had to register the new vehicle with EZ Pass and order a new tag. It was actually quite simple because it could be done right online.
I filled out the online form and it asked if I wanted the Velcro strips to attach the EZ Pass tag to my windshield. I checked yes. When I submitted the form, I received a confirmation and it said my order should arrive in 7-10 business days.
A few days later I received an envelope from EZ Pass. When I opened it, 2 little Velcro strips dropped out. I shook the envelope, but there was no EZ Pass tag, just the Velcro. I thought perhaps the pass would come in a separate envelope, so I waited my 7 to 10 days. No such envelope arrived. Could they possibly have thought I only wanted Velcro strips and not the pass?
I went back on the website and got the number to call EZ Pass. I explained what I received in the mail. Now, the woman helping me was great. She was able to look at my account and determine very quickly that no EZ Pass was ever sent, just the Velcro, and she was happy to order me a new tag right then and there. But here’s what got me. During our conversation, I expressed that I was surprised that I ordered incorrectly; I was a pretty good “on-line orderer”. She said, “I don’t know why that happens, but people tell us all the time that they thought they ordered a new tag, but only got the Velcro strips.” This woman was really great at helping me get my problem solved, but what opportunity did she miss?
As customer service providers, it’s our job to investigate systemic problems, or at least bring them to the attention of someone who can. It’s very likely that many other reps had heard the same thing from several of their customers, but kept this information to themselves as well. Perhaps if they shared this information with management or “the powers that be,” someone could have investigated what on the website input form is misleading and causing people to fill it out incorrectly. Imagine what might happen if they could correct this problem. Perhaps they could eliminate a large percentage of calls to the customer service department, which might, in turn, cause the hold time for getting to a rep to decrease, which might in turn cause their customers with real problems requiring personal assistance to have a better experience. And it all starts with the person in front of the customer!
Thoughts…….. Contact me at abbe@TECResourceCenter.com
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