Let’s start with a simple interaction with a large US-based airline:
An executive from our team was scheduled to fly to Detroit, on an early afternoon flight, called into the premier support desk to make a same-day flight schedule change. The agent politely informed him there were seats available; however, they must go to the airport 90 minutes prior to their departure, to speak to an agent in order to be placed on the standby list.
Given the premier status, and the fact that going to the airport 90 minutes prior to the flight departure was nearly impossible, they asked if the agent could assist them by putting him on the standby list. The agent replied, “I’m sorry. There is no other way,” that he had to go to the airport.
Disappointed, they promptly visited the airline’s Web site to check the status of their flight. To their amazement, they discovered a button for same-day flight schedule changes, then successfully put themselves on standby.
This simple interaction raises questions, in many dimensions, about customer service/customer experience in general:
- Why was it so much easier to get this task accomplished on a digital platform vs. a call into the traditional Contact Center?
- If the purpose of a Contact Center is to provide the highest level of service, over and above the digital media, then clearly it failed at its mission. It is clear that there was a huge knowledge gap.
- It is well documented that a company’s brand image/reputation is highly correlated to the interaction with their employees. In this case, it lowered trust and tarnished this brand’s image.