The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) employee was very nice and patient with me on the phone. I’m sure that any supervisor that was listening in on the call would give the representative good marks for addressing my need and thanking me for my call.
But it was a horrible experience. Why?
As Paul Harvey would say, “Here’s the rest of the story.”
A friend had just recently received a car from a relative, and it had a 10-day temporary authorization to drive without an inspection. Prior to getting the car inspected, my friend unexpectedly got very sick (she is well now, thank goodness), and my friend was afraid that she’d miss the deadline to get an inspection. So she asked that I call to see if she could get an extension:
- Call #1 – I went to the State DMV website and didn’t find the answer, but I did find a phone number to call. The recorded message asked me to wait and gave no specific expected time for the call to be answered. I waited on hold for 10 minutes and then hung up.
- Call #2 – I called a local DMV office (let’s call this Office “A”); after 8 rings, it started to buzz like a fax machine; I hung up.
- Call #3 – I called another local DMV office (let’s call this Office “B”); it rang busy.
- Call #4 – I called a 3rd local DMV office (let’s call this Office “C”); there was a pleasant message noting whether they would accept payments; they suggested I press “0” for Operator; so I pressed 0 and got a busy signal.
- Call #5 – I called Office “C” back a few minutes later, thinking that maybe they didn’t have a call queue; after the pleasant message, I pressed 0 and got a busy signal.
- Call #6 – I called Office “B,” hoping that it too just was overloaded and maybe didn’t have a call queue; it rang busy again.
- Call #7 – I called Office “A,” and – again – after 8 rings, it started to buzz like a fax machine; I hung up again.
- Call #8 – I called the State DMV again, and – after 14 minutes – the representative picked up the call as I noted at the beginning of this Tip.
We cannot assume that because one conversation went right on the phone that the customer had a great experience. For all we know, the customer may have had 7 bad experiences before that one conversation that went right.
If this was a private business, I wouldn’t have called 8 times; I would have gone to a competitor, and just like the DMV, they never would have known why.
Mystery Shop your services, or ask the customer about their experience. Never assume that because one moment-of-truth went right that the overall experience worked for the customer.
Know what you’re missing about the full customer experience.