Earlier this week, my doctor wrote a prescription for me for an antibiotic. Unfortunately, she faxed the prescription to my insurance provider’s mail order pharmacy instead of to my local pharmacy. Because my credit card had already been charged by the time the mistake was discovered, I had to call the insurance company for a correction.
My call went to an IVR, and the conversation was something like this, “Say or enter your telephone number.” The script went on asking me for my member identification number and my zip code. By then, I was, of course, wondering just how long this call was going to take. I will give them points for connecting me to a real, live agent after just three questions. Not too bad.
What wasn’t so great was that the agent asked me to provide the same three pieces of information that I had just entered into the IVR. I’m thinking, “Didn’t I already give you this information? Why are you asking again?” Just after I provided the information to the agent, my call was dropped. Now, that was really annoying. I was already feeling stressed about having to take time out of my busy day to correct a mistake someone else made, and now I had to call back. This was taking longer than it should.
I called the company back, went through the IVR again, got to another agent and had to repeat the same information. This is four times now that I have answered the same three questions. When I told the second agent that my previous call had been dropped, she didn’t know anything about that call and didn’t apologize for the inconvenience. Obviously, my insurance provider also doesn’t seem to know about omnichannel customer service. And, sadly, they didn’t provide the customer experience I was expecting.
I am a senior marketing manager for Cyara, and I usually write the words “customer experience” several times a day in blog posts, landing pages, emails, and other content. In fact, I’ve spent most of the last month writing lead generation content for a healthcare insurance campaign. I have to say that my own “customer experience” with one of the largest healthcare insurance providers in the United States hasn’t been very good. This week’s example is just one more reason why I won’t look forward to my next conversation with them.
I heard about the second customer experience the following morning, and it was the complete opposite. I got an email from a colleague who shared feedback from an executive at one of the largest banks in the United States. This executive’s feedback was, “Thank you for providing a great solution!”
This bank has a solid customer service reputation, and an automated monitoring solution in their production environment helps them keep this reputation. According to the executive, the monitoring solution had recently saved the bank from having a huge black eye with their customers, and probably prevented a sizeable financial impact from lost business and possibly even lost customers.
It seems some changes were made to the bank’s switching infrastructure without everyone being informed. These changes could have caused customer calls to be dropped or routed into a black hole. In this case, we are talking about potentially hundreds of calls. Imagine that you are a customer and you can’t reach your bank on the telephone, or your call is routed to a completely different department than you are trying to reach. It could cause you to lose trust, especially if this situation lasts very long or happens more than once. After all, you might be tempted to think 'if they can’t manage their phone system, how can they manage your money?'
Instead, the bank’s automated monitoring solution immediately alerted the contact center staff that they had a problem. The IT team was able to react quickly to resolve the issue. This bank’s customers will never know about this incident and about the steps the bank took to correct the problem. Isn’t that the way it should be? Great customer experiences should be the norm and not the exception. This bank shows that they value their customers’ time and understand that every phone call is important.
I’d say the bank is definitely a step ahead of my insurance company. I know which kind of customer experience I’d rather have.
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