Customer service bomb: When online chat goes awry

By Renae Gregoire | Empathy

May 16
How to ensure your online chat is consumer-ready
When online chat goes wrong: Frustration, multiplied

Are you now using or have you ever used Audible.com?

I was a customer several years ago, paying $14.95 a month for an ebook, and stockpiling ebooks when they went on sale. Finally, when my ebook library far outgrew my capacity to listen, I put my account on hold. When the hold ran out, I cancelled my subscription, figuring I'd pick it back up again if I ever made it through my existing ebook library.

That day still hasn't arrived, but yesterday a different day arrived -- the day when I set an intention to listen to my stockpile of audiobooks. I like audio learning and entertainment because I can enjoy it while I'm doing things that otherwise leave me with dead mental time: putting on makeup in the morning, showering, doing laundry ... things like that.

In case you're not aware, Amazon owns Audible now. Before this debacle began, I used one email address for my Amazon.com account, and another for my Audible account, which led to an unspeakable amount of frustration, including an aborted chat session followed by 30 minutes on the phone with a non-English speaker who asked me to spell my email address seven times.

Is your chat program putting you at risk of losing your customers? 

This blog post is about the aborted chat session. I wanted to share what happened to me so that YOU can avoid this kind of thing happening to YOUR clients and customers.

I initally connected with an Audible service representative, Glen. Here's an image of our chat conversation. There's no need to wade through my explanation of the problem; just look at the highlighted bits.

Online chat business killer

As you can see, I was disconnected with chat pretty quickly. And no matter how many times I tried to restart the chat, I got an "Oops! Connection has been lost." message.

Then, because I was doing all of this right before my shower, so that I could listen from my phone during, I decided to take the advised next step: "Click Call Me below if you'd like to contact us by phone."

But ... there was an obvious problem with that call to action:

Call-to-action killers: When your CTA and button text don't match

 Yep, that's right. I couldn't make the call because there was not a button to click to make a call! 

Fortunately for me, I'm tenacious. So I went back to the site, found the phone number and dialed it, leading to that frustrating 30-minute call I mentioned earlier. That call is another issue altogether, so I won't go into here.

The moral of the story? Eliminate all YES killers in your chat process.

But I DO want to advise you to check the chat process on your website to make sure it works throughout, from beginning to end. If you're too busy, or if it's not your role, hire someone else to do it. Otherwise, those broken bits may become YES killers, at the least, annoying, at the worst, and chasing many good customers and prospects away. 


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About the Author

Renae Gregoire is a marketing writer, editor, critical thinker, obsessive questioner, and excellent-results deliverer. Although writing is her talent, empathy is her Super Power; she combines both into a potent formula for creating content experiences that lead more people to YES!

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