In today's day and age the US economy is mostly made up of services-based businesses, a whopping 70% in fact! Coupled with a younger workforce, who socially interact over the internet, and you are bound to be on the receiving end of a number of examples of poor customer experience (CX). So, I have decided to take it upon myself to share a recent story with you in an attempt to drive increased awareness of the current plight impacting CX and subsequently retention rates. I am going to focus on big ticket items and leave the day to day interactions for another blog. So here we go.
The Dreaded Phone Call
Being the always busy American that I am, the last thing I want to do is waste my time with an unidentified caller who I already know has been trying to get my attention for weeks and filling up my voicemail box with products and services I have been living just fine without. I am always consistent at ignoring these calls until one Thursday afternoon, I had a sudden change of heart. I couldn't tell you what prompted me to answer that call, maybe I was in an extra good mood that day or maybe I felt like giving the person on the other line a chance to sell me.
Two hello’s and 10 seconds later to my surprise, an actual human being was on the other line speaking to me. I was greeted by what sounded like a young man (we’ll call him Bob) with a peppy tone, calling on behalf of Hilton Vacation rewards. Since I was familiar with Hilton Rewards and signed up for them in the past, I decided to let this man give his pitch. After all, I was in a good mood and thought maybe they actually had something I was actually interested in.
What About Bob?
Bob proceeded to inform me about all the great new properties that have been added to the Hilton Vacation club and the most recent IPO. I was surprised and excited that maybe just maybe this was informative call until he then proceeds to tell me points I had purchased for a Hilton Vacation were now are reduced in value. I was told by purchasing more points now when the changes happen you won't lose out. What went from informative, is now a sales call, darn.
I told Bob I had no intention of purchasing more points as I haven't used the points I have for the past 4 years. and found the process of setting up the vacation to be extremely inconvenient, not user friendly, and didn't fit my lifestyle. I asked Bob if he was aware of the information I just provided. He was not and I asked him if you had this information would he have approached me with the same offer. Bob was stumped. He didn't really know what to say. I am sure it would have been a better experience for myself and probably him, had there been a greater awareness of my CX prior to calling. Needless to say, Bob didn't make a sale that day.
Is Ignorance Bliss?
What I found the most interesting out of this whole scenario was had Bob known the little details to my account or noticed I hadn't used these points in 4 years; had he, Bob probably would have had the upper hand during this phone call and Hilton could have made a couple bucks. Bob probably worked at a typical call center, hired by Hilton to do outreach to drive additional revenue in a cost effective manner. Hilton is known to invest in their employees by providing vacation perks, healthcare benefits, opportunity for growth within the company, yet somehow fail to provide critical pieces of information that actually could drive up their CX and revenue.
Calls like the one Bob initiated takes a lot of guts because the chances of someone actually answering the phone and staying on long enough is slim to none so, I give him credit. Maybe with a different approach and from more data Bob would be more successful.
It is truly a no brainer: companies who invest in understanding their CX, and leverage customer experience management tools, will get that investment back 10 fold.
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