Adonis Diaries

Effort: That’s all it takes? Good tech is free: design in a satisfying digital phone interaction

Posted on: July 7, 2017

All it takes is effort

Customer service used to be a great divide.

Well-off companies would heavily invest in taking care of customers, others would do the minimum (or a bit less).

Back then, organizations couldn’t possibly give you all the service you might dream of. They can’t all afford to answer the phone on one ring, it’s expensive to hire enough operators and train them.

And they certainly can’t dedicate an operator just to you, someone who would know your history and recognize your voice.

Today, though, when more and more of our engagements are digital, it doesn’t take an endless, ongoing budget to delight people.

All an organization needs to do is care enough (once) to design it properly.

To make a process that is easy to use, clearly labeled and well designed.

To build a phone system that doesn’t torture you and then delete everything you typed in.

To put care into every digital interaction, even if it’s easier to waste the user’s time.

[Insert story here of healthcare company, cable company or business that doesn’t care enough to do it right.

One where the committees made the process annoying. Or where the team didn’t cycle one more time.

Or where the urgency of the moment takes attention away from the long-term work of system design.

The thing is, if one company can do the tech right, then every organization with sufficient resources and motivation can do the tech right.]

The punchline is simple: In consumer relations and service, good tech is free.

It’s free because it pays for itself in lower overhead and great consumer satisfaction and loyalty.

But it requires someone to care enough to do it right.

Perhaps we need to change the recording to, “due to unusually lazy or frustrated design and systems staff (and their uninvolved management), we’re going to torture you every single time you interact with us. Thanks for your patience.”

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