Why is customer experience so poor when it comes to process design? Regardless of the product or service, it can be so frustrating when having to deal with on-boarding, product upgrades, billing, payment, account updates and customer service. Banks, telcos, utilities and government services are particularly bad, but I am seeing more and more examples in on-line market places and payment solutions.
Often, it feels like the process design is built entirely according to the providers’ internal operating structures, and not around the customer. The classic example is when customers have to talk to separate sales, product, technical support and finance teams – and none of them talk to each other, and none of them know the full customer or product journey end to end.
Even when you do manage to talk to human beings on the phone, rather than a chat bot, as a customer you have to repeat yourself at every stage in the conversation, and you can end up having to train front line staff on how their products actually work or what the process should be to upgrade a service, pay a bill or trouble-shoot a technical problem.
You get the impression that many customer-facing team members never use their own services, or haven’t been given sufficient training or information to handle customer enquiries, and don’t have adequate authority to resolve customer problems.
On many occasions, I get the customer experience equivalent of “computer says ‘no’…” when it appears impossible to navigate a particular problem. The usual refrain is the “system” means things can only be done a certain way, regardless of the inconvenience to the customer, or the lack of thought that has gone into the “process”.
As I always remind these companies, a “process” is only as good as the people who design, build and operate it – and in blaming the “system” for a particular failing or inadequacy they are in effect criticising their own organisations and their own colleagues.
Next week: App Overload