Technology failures can ruin your day

Retaining customers is much easier and cost effective than attracting new ones.  What do you do when you have a highly popular product that easily attracts new customers, but you’re unable to retain them for any length of time? When your customer service is top notch but customers are still leaving?
Some of the reasons for these customer defections might be:

  • Orders placed which are lost
  • Unable to place an order because of slow response
  • Order or transaction confirmation not received
  • Orders placed which take much longer than normal to fulfill
  • Transactions which don’t occur when they should
  • Statements which are often late
  • Unable to log into the system
  • Very slow system response
  • Orders or transactions which are missing

The problems grow when your customers begin seeing these issues more and more often and usually hear the same responses if they give you the courtesy of a call before defecting:

  • We’re working on it
  • We don’t know what went wrong but it’s fixed now
  • You must have done something wrong. Try again and call back if the problem persists
  • Looks like a problem with your computer, try rebooting or clearing your cache and call back if the problem doesn’t go away
  • We never received your files, can you resend them?
  • We never received your order, can you redo it?
  • It was caused by a procedural error and will be fixed shortly

The issue gets worse as finger pointing and in-fighting between IT, customer service, sales and the business divisions become the norm.

More often than not, the causes for many customer service complaints can be detected and prevented before they become a problem. For many companies the applications required to meet customer needs operate on large mainframe or server computer systems. These systems are part of a complex technical web designed and optimized to serve a particular need. As companies grow and expand this behemoth of technology becomes more and more complicated, making it difficult to identify problems.

A lost customer order or transaction could have been lost anywhere, from the point it was placed to any of the numerous connections, before reaching its final destination.

Situations where customers are unable to login or get very slow response while the computer systems appear to be operating normally could be caused by any number of reasons, such as a problem with the security application, a problem with the network communications links or equipment, a problem with the users cable operator or a change recently made by the application teams.