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Monday, June 9, 2008

How not to Do Customer Support

Customers are hard to please, yeah, sure I agree. But you can easily infuriated your customers by giving them nonsense interactive voice system when they are calling your call center.

Digi has, I believe, the most confusing phone customer support system in the world. Being a Digi customer for quite sometime, I have the "privileges" to call the call center a number of times( for help, of course, do you think I have the mood to chit-chat with a stranger?). My ultimate goal, is to connect to the "consultant" ( a glorified customer support) so that they can help me out.

Let's start the whole story. When you call to 0162211800, the Digi customer support telephone number, you won't get to speak to a human immediately. Instead, the computer will thank you for calling the Digi customer service, and remind you of your current account status like your bill and the last date to top-up, lest Digi bans all your outgoing call.

Rule 1: Do not remind me of my account information when I am looking for help! Digi, I need to solve my problem, please don't waste my air time OK? I am in no mood of hearing rubbish. Can you please turn the account notification off?

After enduring the reminder for a minute, Digi will then ask you yo select one of the following options:
  1. change call plan, press '1'
  2. change friend& family number, press '2'
  3. activate notification, press '3'
  4. change language selection, press '4'
  5. replay account info, press '5'
  6. connect to Digi customer service anytime, press '0'
Since I need help, of course I will press '0'. Instead of sending me to one of their consultants, Digi gives me another 3 options:
  1. listen to next announcement in current language
  2. listen to next announcement in tamir
  3. listen to next announcement in indonesian
What would you do? Press '0'? Sorry, the selection is invalid. Heck, I thought that to connect to Digi customer service anytime I just have to press '0'?

Rule 2: Do not give misleading information! If you say that I can go to Digi Customer service anytime if I press '0', make sure you mean it!

I am perfectly happy with my current language selection, and I don't need a chance to change it. So I press '1', then the voice at the other end will prompt me for the following options:
  1. information account
  2. digi promotion
  3. report lost number
  4. check other account
What would you do?

If you press "0", the system will tell you that this is an invalid input. Press "0" again, the system will just say goodbye to you, and you will have to endure the tortuous steps from the beginning, again.

Out of so many options, do you realize how ridiculous option 2 is? Hey, I call the call center not for nothing. I call the call center because I need help, I don't want to hear any of your promotions, or the services which are useless to me anyway. In fact, do you think any sane person will call the customer support center just to hear about the latest promotion?

Rule 3: I don't want to hear about "promotions and new services" when I call to customer service center! Enough said.

Notice that by now, the voice system no longer tells you how to speak to the consultants. But this is the whole purpose of me calling Digi center. Such an inconsistency is appalling, to say the least. As comprehensive as any voice system list of options is, "speaking to consultants" should be the default option because the majority of technical support problems cannot be expressed in terms of a set of pre-defined options.

Rule 4: Be consistent, and provide default option just in case the users get lost.

Here's the last rule:

Rule 5: Eat your own dogfood.
Much of the problems outlined can be avoided if Digi cares to use it itself. The lack of dogfooding contributes a lot of the Digi customer support fiasco.


Sascha said...


It's common use I think. Yesterday I called T-Com customer support to get some status information about my new ordered telephone extension.
The "machine" asked me all the times for the phonenumber, but since it's newly ordered I still have none. But without I could not speak to a consultant.
I solved the thing by saying I want to complain about the phoneconnection I was actual using. After waiting ten minutes hearing some boring jingle I was through.

Hope they 'll improve their machines.


Soon Hui said...

sascha, I think that's the problem with customer support. Customer support is supposed to solve our frustration, not to increase it. But now it seems that it is serving the opposite function of what its purpose.