I’m sure it’s happened to you too.
You call an organisation, you get to listen to a recorded voice which requests you press digits on your phone touch pad, in order to be connected to an actual person. You wait in hope, wondering patiently after sifting through the matrix of audio options, if you’ll get to speak to a regular human.
Sometimes, the message comes through that things are a bit busy and you might like to ring back later. Like anyone really wants to willingly repeat the whole gruesome process again? You keep waiting. The timer on your phone indicates it’s been over 15 minutes, and still you hold.
Eventually, you get to speak to the operator. You explain your issue, and the person at the other end tries to resolve your problem. They really do… You hang up, but not before giving feedback that you’ve been on the phone for ages, hoping in vain that someone cares about your waste of time, and that the issue has been sorted and you won’t need to repeat the process.
But you’re wrong. You actually end up doing the same thing 4 times over the course of a month, just trying to get your IT issue with the organisation’s website sorted.
You see, I wanted to buy movie tickets for my kids, so I tried logging in to the RAC website. The site wouldn’t recognise my email, even though I receive ALL my emails from the RAC at that address. Time is ticking, the show starts soon, and still I have no discount tickets. I call. I wait. I press digits on the phone touch pad. I wait some more. Finally, exasperated and possibly not a very nice human myself in that moment, I get to speak to an operator, who repeats the same exact process as the last time I spent 43 minutes of my life waiting for the RAC to answer.
“I’m sorry we’re receiving a high volume of calls right now…”
In good faith we leave feedback, we’re told our calls are recorded for coaching purposes, but no-one seems to be hearing me, let alone coaching me or calling or emailing me to check in on my frustration levels.
And yet, the issue persists.
We are now on our third dial-in fun-filled occasion, and still the same problem with the email exists.
“Oh! I’ve had other customers tell me the same thing this morning…” says a helpful, apologetic RAC operator.
So why haven’t you done anything about it? Perhaps a message on your website at the very least?
We’re sorry, we’re experiencing an IT issue with our website and some of our existing customers’ email addresses are not being recognised at log-in. Please accept our apologies as we deal with this problem.
Ahhh… full disclosure, how refreshing. And at least we the users, the payers, the customers, know what’s going on?
Finally, about a month later, I try to purchase tickets by logging in again. My email is apparently still an alien trying to hack their system: I cannot access my account.
I call, I wait, I digit, I listen to some very bad music, I wait some more. I am really over it.
Eventually I speak to an operator with some personal ideas on how the issue can be fixed. She listens to my problem, suggests some solutions, we try them out together and eventually, after a lengthy chat, we get to the bottom of the problem. She has me log out entirely from my account, and re-enter my details as if I was a new customer registering my account for the first time.
By the fourth call inside one month, an operator solves the RAC dilemma, but it’s highly unlikely the RAC know that, and chances are, they don’t care.
They have never once acknowledged this customer’s complaints or repeated frustrations and have certainly never offered any sort of compensation or reward for my ongoing loyalty, even in the face of such poor treatment.
This helpful RAC staff member solved my (and other customers’) issue through experimentation trial-and-error, and only those clients ‘lucky’ enough to get through to her, will ever find out what the problem was or how to fix it.
The RAC itself appears to be unaware and unprepared for the vexations of some of their existing online customers, and appear to have left it to a random staff member to solve the problems of potentially thousands of customers…
How could this have been handled differently?
RAC: A Membership Organisation with car and motoring services including: roadside breakdown assistance; vehicle, house and other insurances; travel and touring; finance and even discount movie tickets’ sales…
Here’s how it could have gone:
The RAC registers an account with Whizzl.com, and invites each of its community members to join the online platform where they can get updates, emergency information, give feedback in public and get resolutions in a transparent and caring manner.
What happens is, the public can actually be heard, have their challenges and issues acknowledged, and even get rewarded for their feedback which serves only to increase RAC’s developing positive community reputation as a caring and responsive organisation (anything but what the current company profile looks like).
The RAC gets to collect data on customers’ complaints and feedback, which helps furnish future decision-making, and, once any given issue has been publicly resolved, with due recognition to the organisation and its staff for their affirmative actions, they can actually ‘close off’ those resolved customer posts, thereby demonstrating how efficient and client-focused they really are.
It works like this:
- A customer has a poor experience (like mine) and posts feedback in the Whizzl app, explaining the challenge, with a photograph to support the authenticity of the complaint or feedback
- RAC staff respond to the issue by assigning a service provider through the Whizzl market place (in the future) or by assigning staff (in the above case, an IT specialist) to fix the problem,
- The service provider demonstrates publicly on the app in the same post-chain, that they have effectively resolved the issue
- Once the issue has been ‘closed’ (effectively resolved) your customer feels great – her feedback was received, acknowledged and effectively acted upon to the point of resolution.
A happy customer is a repeat spending customer, so the organisation (the RAC in this case) doesn’t have to:
- lose disillusioned customers
- work hard to win them back
- deal with negative feedback
- act clumsily at best to resolve the feedback meanwhile taking community criticism for the lack of action
- be constantly unaware of how their customers really feel
The Whizzl feedback-action system creates trust, and perhaps more importantly, a people-focused, needs-driven smart responsive community.
In the near future, all three parties: customer; business management and service providers, will get rewarded for being part of this sharing-economy ecosystem, by receiving Rewardz, tokens which can then be used for future payments or even cashed back into Bitcoin, or other currencies like dollars.
And the whole transparent transaction will be recorded on the blockchain in the not-too-distant future, which will sit behind acting as a technology-based architectural scaffolding that ensures:
- Immutability – (no-one can fudge the system and fake a complaint or a resolution)
- Transparency – it’s all on the social media app Whizzl and no-one can take it down, control the post by removing or editing
- Trust – no third party like banks are needed for you to get paid your rewardz
This is the future of healthy, happy communities, now.
If you have an organisation where people’s feedback is getting lost in the tidal wave of information assailing your business every day, this is an effective feedback system that keeps track of your issues and helps you look like the nice guy instead of the cretin who doesn’t appear to care.
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