Customer journey of an IT fault

When the customer gets to see beyond the public face of the company OR Can I see your tickets please?

There is a lot of discussion about customer service in the online environment and also much improvement.  But when a technical issue arises with a website or a non-product related request is made the customer service department might hand over contact with the customer to their IT department (be they internal or outsourced). And this stage of the customers’ journey appears to be unmanaged by the organisation’s customer service professionals, and the customer has the company’s public face removed.

On two recent occasions my request has been turned not only into a number (breaking rule #1 – referring to a customer as a number) but the term ‘ticket’ is also creeping in.


Your ticket has been assigned an ID of [#832395].  
We hope to get to your request shortly.
Remember, please include the string: [#832395]
in the subject line of all future correspondence about 
this issue, and your original request will be updated.

Those of us who work in or with large organisations or IT will be familiar with the term but for the majority of consumers a ticket is something that is used to get on a train or into a movie not something you need in order to receive a positive customer experience. Surely the insistence of using internally focused terminology and processes can only ever result in a poor customer experience.

Both small and large companies have opportunities to put this right:  large firms can ensure that there is a customer service element placed back into all direct customer contact; smaller outfits have the ability to apply a personal touch with their customer communications.  For example, sportswear retailer LessBounce apply a personal touch to unusual requests – their Director, Selaine Saxby, liaises with their IT Team but responds personally herself rather than forcing customers to refer to internal tickets:

“We work on the ethos that we try and treat each customer as we would like to be treated – and with a small team here it is possible for me to still get involved when things go wrong.  We also recognise as a business we learn more from things that go wrong than the hundreds of orders each week which are processed without any problem at all.”

The dividends this must pay in customer loyalty!

Let us know if you’ve had a ticketed experience rather than a customer experience.

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