Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Interactions Build Trust: You Have The Data, You Should Know When To Call Me!

OnCustomer has a nice piece on customer service 2.0. How do you build "Trust and Credibility with Customers"? Well one thing you can do, is make your relationship a bit more "transparent" by letting the customer know where they are in your process. I for one really like it when Amazon tells me that my product is delayed, or that one half has shipped etc. But I would really like it if they told me "It should be with you tomorrow", because then I get a whole days anticipation, which is part of the pleasure of the purchase. There are practical implications as well, such as actually being there for the delivery. As other people were doing this January, I had a look at some Credit Card deals. I made an enquiry to one of the big ones, they asked me some questions there and then (note: have your bank details around you when you make this kind of call!), and then they told me that they would contact me soon to tell me if I was approved. Three days later, I get a call, a live call, telling me I had been approved and they would send out the forms. A full week later, those forms are on my kitchen table. That's one full week for me to change my mind, look at other card providers, or for me to just fall into apathy and stay with my current provider. Now as you can see this post has shifted towards a kind of "VoiceSage is great for form follow on's and turning prospects into customers", which is true: but why the hell hasn't my existing card company, who can see my spend pattern, and who no doubt know that I am shopping around, why don't they contact me and make me some offers? Frankly, because I haven't acted as if I am going to switch. The minute I pick up the phone and call them, only then will I appear on their radar. Silly silly. I am going because nobody bothered to contact me. They have done nothing to build my trust, they are obviously doing nothing to help me. UPDATE: as if by magic, the new credit card company just called me! So I will be returning those forms today, and I will overcome my inertia. I was feeling like someone should have called me, and someone DID call me, which probably means there is a predictable time within which customers expect to be reminded, even subconsciously.

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matt.lambert said...

Presumably the predictive dialler in the Credit Card company suddenly had agents ring every Paul Sweeney on their database because their spider software picked up 'credit card' in a blog post.

It seems the better we're served, the more we expect. And because us web savvy people are served exeptionally well, we get irritated by bricks and mortar service levels.

At least, that's how I'm explaining my irritability levels to the missus. I have a suspicion it's age though.

Paul Sweeney said...

You know Matt it would be great to think that someone had the capacity to crawl the comment-sphere and find out what was being said about their product or service, and to contextualise it in terms of the underlying "intent", and then make some kind of an offer to Interact with you. Again, you might think I am pushing VoiceSage to enable this, but there are lots of companies that could be positioned to offer this. I think we will see a lot more of "this kind of thinking" in the next 18 months.

Get your twitter mosaic here.