Let’s say it’s a Tuesday. You’re minding your own business. You might even be minding the affairs of your own business, as I was when I received the call from Dell.
This business relies a lot on technology. We are a virtual company in many ways, so having reliable machines is vital. Part of the offerings is reviewing online experiences, so I have to be sure to have not just own browser, but many. The inventory includes several Dell computers, with which I’m mostly satisfied.
The call came in, I answered, and I heard a ringing on the line. I’m sure my connection was then automagically transferred to an awaiting operator, who quickly glanced at her monitor and asked for Jenny. Now Jenny is a perfectly lovely name, but it’s not my name. My name is also not Janine, Gini (although I don’t mind being compared) or my personal favorite – Gee-Ann.
In any case, the kind woman who seemed to be calling from a different part of the world informed me this was a customer experience call from Dell. “OH! GOODY!” I thought, because if there are ever two words I get excited about, they are Customer + Experience.
She then asked about my customer experience with the specific laptop purchased in November. I was ready to have a conversation, so I answered, “It’s been ok. Not great.”
In response, she told me the customer service number to call (what? I’m supposed to call someone? Aren’t you calling me?) and then thanked me for being a customer.
It was a strange few minutes.
In theory, Dell is doing the right thing here by seeking actual customer feedback. But in reality? What box did she check for me, you think? Satisfied? Happy?
I don’t know much more about the program than what I just shared, but here are a few observations with what could have been handled differently.
- Silos: I’m enrolled in the Dell Tech Concierge program, in which I’m extremely happy. Dell is connected with my machines quite a bit through the backup and concierge connections. Why not ask me there about my experience?
- Questions: How is my customer experience? Hmm…I happen to live in this world and speak this language, but how many customers do? What are they looking for here?
- Response: I used the words “Not great” to see what would happen. There was not ONE follow-up question.
- Delegating: Why was I asked to call someone when they had called me!?
As I said, this is the right IDEA. I’m happy when a brand actually cares about me after making the initial sale. But this is just checking some box somewhere. How does this benefit me as the customer?
My fear is that as brands become more anxious to check the box that says “get customer feedback” they’ll actually irritate and annoy customers more. It’s just like what’s happened to email marketing. We all thought email was a great idea at first. But the marketers became too aggressive and ignored the needs of the actual recipients, so now we hate it.
Customers SHOULD come first. So what is in it for the customer to provide feedback? It’s a slippery slope here, I think. Instead of checking the box that says “we got feedback,” how actually seeking feedback that is important to customers, then DOING something with that?