Is your IT department costing you money and customers?

I set up a new account at my bank, which meant I needed to create a new online user name, password, etc. The setup email said to put a “9” in front of my tax ID number on the online banking screen. I did. The system would not let me proceed.

Frustrated, I called customer service. The rep was very nice and told me to put a 9 in front of my tax ID. I told her I’d already done that. She asked if I’d wait while she checked the procedure. She returned and instructed me to put *two* 9s in front of my tax ID. I did. Still no go.

She went back to the procedure. “Try putting two 9s *instead* of the first two digits of the tax ID.” I did. It worked.

I nicely asked if she knew why the email wouldn’t have given me the complete instructions, thus yielding a frustrated and irritated customer and a call to customer support, costing the bank money. Of course, she had no idea, because she wasn’t in the IT department who set up the process and generated the email.

I wanted to go slap silly the person responsible for this nonsense. How many customers go through this in a day, causing them to think their bank is incompetent? And how much does it cost the bank for the 10 minutes in customer rep time to problem solve with all those customers? Whatever it costs, it’s way too much for someone in IT’s oversight.

What about your company? Is someone setting up processes to your customers that don’t work, causing them to then call your customer service department? How much is that costing you? Is there a feedback loop for your reps to report to the IT manager about problems like this so they can be fixed before annoying any more customers and costing you more? Ask around. I bet there’s no reporting process in place. While you’re adding it, make sure you reward your reps for reporting customer-annoying procedures.


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