Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Value-Added Data Entry

Customer service regularly gets a bad rap.  We seem to expect it to be bad, much like college dormitory food; no matter how tasty the dish, it must bad, just because it came from the dorm kitchen. 
So a good example of customer service deserves some kudos plus a chance to learn. 
A complex piece of family business required us to wire some money recently via Western Union.  I set up the transaction on their web site and received a preliminary confirmation number for the transfer.  But the web page instructed me to call a toll-free number to complete the transaction.  A little befuddled by this, I nevertheless dialed the number.  As I expected, a recorded voice greeted me and then asked me to punch in the confirmation number, which I did. 
To my surprise, after only 10 seconds of elevator music, a live person greeted me, by name, before I said anything.  She then explained briefly why I needed to call, which made sense in the context.  She asked a couple more questions and we were done. The business was completed the next day. 
How did this work well?  Western Union was prepared, technically and operationally.  Their systems took my simple confirmation number and tied it into the screen viewed by the person answering the phone.  It all flowed seamlessly, added value and was very prompt.  Someone thought that system through well.
Nice job Western Union.  You teach us a good lesson. 

1 comment:

Owen said...

Personally, I've had terrible customer service experience with Western Union. Their online tracking service failed to accept my tracking number and I received different information from their local representative and their online representative. I write this just to say that while they may be succeeding in some areas, they are still falling down in others.