I just signed up for an account with ******* (name withheld, you will see why) so that I could try out their service which I had read about on my favourite social network (begins with t).
To sign up I had to provide quite a lot of information but to be fair the service has a commercial model that probably needs this information. I then waited for my account to be approved, not too long after I get my user name, some quirky meaningless combination of capitals – FAIL 1 – I want to choose my own user name or use my email address not have another one to store or remember.
Move to first try at logging in. Minimum system requirements Windows and IE – Aargh! FAIL 2
OK so that’s me off (and about 35% of browser users) but why not warn me about their requirements before I filled in the application form? FAIL 3
Then I thought that if I wasn’t going to be able to use their service I would prefer that they did not keep my personal details in their database. Where is the account settings or other link to manage my account and delete if I want? Nowhere (and that is not a pun on my company name) – FAIL 4
So I then sent this mail to their customer services dept:
I registered to use your services only to discover (after taking time to register) that the service only works when accessed from a Windows based machine running Internet Explorer neither of which I have or wish to acquire.
Approximately 35% of internet users now use a browser other than IE and the number of people using operating systems other than Windows is rapidly growing as well. Shame that I won’t be able to find out how good your service is or view the quality of ******.
Since I am not going to be using ****** I wanted to delete my account and remove all of the contact information that I provided to you, unfortunately there is no obvious link to manage my account details or to unsubscribe. Could you remove my details from your database and confirm to me that this has been done.
Back came this response
Good morning Mr Feldman
I can confirm that the account has been closed
Senior Customer Service Executive
Am I missing something here? No apology for any inconvenience caused, no explanation or response to the points made, no regret that I wont be able to use their service or spend money with them. And this person has the title Senior Customer Service Executive! FAIL 5
I sent back this curt response
Thank youNo apology for any inconvenience or explanation of design choicesI get the message
I haven’t heard anything else. I won’t be using this company, nor would I recommend them to anyone that I know. FAIL 6
You may be wondering why I have not shared the name of the company, I don’t want to flame them or cause them undue embarrassment (although maybe they would not care). The reason for posting this is to illustrate how easily a poor customer experience can convert a potential champion into a peeved “detractor” (that’s the language of customer experience and satisfaction analysts).
Now if the detractor has a well read blog (not me) or media access or an active social network the company could find itself facing some pretty poor publicity. I don’t want that to happen to these guys but I do hope that if they read this blog or a tweet about it (and they might) then they think about retraining their Senior Customer Service Executives.
If you wanted to share this story with other companies who could learn from it then the tag #custexp would enable others to follow the viral spread of the story and learn how important every customer contact is to the success of a business.