The customer journey. How NOT to deliver customer service.

By February 10, 2019 General No Comments

Years ago, when virtual coupons were building in popularity, I signed up for Groupon. I didn’t use it very much – I hadn’t made any purchases in the last five years and had unsubscribed from their email feed.

So, I was surprised to find an email from them a few weeks ago that my coupon purchase for Hooters (Really? Hooters???)  was unsuccessful. What was even more unsuccessful was trying to get assistance from Groupon’s customer support team regarding potential fraud.

In today’s world where fraud and data breaches are everyday occurrences, I expected better attention and service than I received. I tried two devices and a couple of browsers before I hit on one that allowed me access to Live Chat on their web site.

The representative started by asking me to identify how and when the purchase had been made and what exactly the purchase was for. Since the only information I had was the email from them, I had no insight into any of this information and asked if she could access it on her end. Her response was that I needed to assist HER by providing the information SHE needed to do her job.

After a couple of verbal volleys, she said she needed to do some research and would email me with an update. The email I received was a transcript of my chat with their service team and asked for confirmation that my situation had been resolved. Nope.

I replied re-stating the situation and asking them to investigate fraud. In return, I received another email asking for everything but my social security number to help them resolve. It even asked if the transaction was made by PayPal or credit card and to provide account details for both.

I’m astounded that any company would ask for this level of information from their consumer – especially over email. Even more concerning, I was unable to deactivate the account myself. A written request needs to be submitted to Groupon for deactivation. So, they apparently own your account, but don’t have access to any of the transactions on it? Impossible.

I think this is a good case study for how not to deliver customer service – such a crucial component to a successful partnership with your consumer.  Web sites need to be functional, service reps need to be empathetic, automated emails need to be accurate, and consumers need to feel empowered and in control of their personal information.

As marketers, we see first-hand how brands cause disruptions along the customer journey. How a brand handles security breaches and customer service issues affects their bottom line because it’s difficult to rebuild customer trust once it’s gone.

How does your company stand up in the customer service department? Maybe it’s time to do an assessment of your customer’s journey and ensure your company is operating with consistent, clear, and timely messaging for ultimate customer satisfaction.

Author Carol Wahl

More posts by Carol Wahl

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