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Great CRM systems buckle under poor service reps, leading to tainted user experiences

by Scott Wallask

August 25, 2010

By Scott Wallask, Insider Learning Network

As your customers gravitate towards the idea of “user experience,” beware of pitfalls.

I talked this week to Deloitte consultant Bill Ziska (a fellow Insider Learning Network member, too), who defines the user experience as one centered on impressions:

  • What was your impression of a Web site?
  • Was an online process intuitive?
  • Did a company deal with you in real time?
  • Was a problem solved efficiently?

His words rang in my head as I later delved into online chat with an Internet provider’s customer representative. I had been having problems with my personal e-mail account and decided to give the provider’s online chat a try rather than being put on hold in a phone queue.

The online chat was cool because it was in real time, similar to instant messaging. But a sleek-looking car can only keep your attention for so long if it doesn’t drive well, and that was my ultimate impression of the chat session because I felt the customer service rep stopped short of really helping me.

In the end, the chat didn’t solve my problem and in ways left me more frustr ated than before I started the session. I had a sour user experience, and looking through my SAP CRM glasses, it seemed like my customer transaction moved things backwards.

This dilemma falls back to a notion that I often bring up: A company can have laudable customer service systems, but if the reps handling the queries are lethargic, it cripples the whole CRM process. And when that happens, the user experience suffers.

Follow Scott on Twitter @sapcrm_observer.

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