Why Must I Repeat Myself Again and Again?

Have you ever called a company’s phone support number, talk to their customer service rep, have that rep transfer you to another person, only to have to repeat the story all over again? It gets even worse when you get transferred or call back a third or fourth time.

How about when you dial the company’s support number and the automated prompt asks you to put in your customer number. Then the customer support rep comes on and the first thing he or she asks you is, “What’s your customer number?”

One question came to mind… Why?

Why did she ask for my account or customer number? I just entered it into their system before I was transferred to her. This is a waste of valuable time for both the customer and the company.

Just yesterday I called Headsets.com. They are the company that sells, you guessed it, telephone headsets. I had an issue with a headset they had sold me. I Googled the company name, clicked on the link to their website, immediately spotted the phone number, dialed it and within a few rings and a very short wait, I was on the phone with a customer support representative. She told me that from the phone number she has on her caller ID, she could see that I was from Shepard Presentations in St. Louis, MO and she had my account up on her screen.

She asked who she was speaking to. I told her, and she immediately went to work on solving my problem. It couldn’t have been easier and a more efficient use of both of our time.

What she didn’t do was ask was for my customer number, my social security number, the name of my first born child and my grandmother’s maiden name.

So maybe the people at Headsets.com aren’t dealing with sensitive information like a bank or insurance company, but the point is once you have given any information to a customer support rep, you shouldn’t have to repeat it again.

There are plenty of great customer relationship management programs that give customer service reps the ability to log in a problem, question, complaint, comment, etc. so that the next person doesn’t have to ask the customer to repeat the story. There are also programs that have security features to protect against fraud. Some programs use voice print technology to match the customer’s voice to their account.

It’s inconvenient for the customer to have to repeat their story, and it only makes him more frustrated, if not angry. And as mentioned, it is a waste time for the support representative to have to listen to a story that’s already been told. If time is money, and it is, then that wasted time over a number of calls, can add up to a big number.
So stop wasting both your and your customer’s time. It will save you money and give your customer a better experience. That’s a winning combination!

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For more information, contact www.hyken.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

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