Just like Sisyphus

Posted on October 24, 2008 | in Uncategorized | by CRC


A colleague of mine recently had a problem with her new Toshiba laptop. Actually, she had many problems lasting many months that resulted in the replacement of most of the components of the laptop before it would work properly. During her initial phone consultation with Toshiba’s help desk, she was told to restore the operating system. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever had to do this, but it basically involves wiping out your entire hard drive, re-installing Windows, and re-installing all of your OTHER software as well. It can take the better part of a day to return your computer to its original state.

But it’s worth it if it works, right? The problem was, restoring the system didn’t work. And every time she called Toshiba after that, they would tell her to restore the system again. She said to me, “Sure, that’s easiest for them, but it’s not easiest for me! Shouldn’t they be more concerned about making life easy for me, since I’m the customer?”

They should. Think carefully about whether or not you are unnecessarily wasting a customer’s time. For example, when you call a company to get help, you often have to give the automated system your name, address, or other information. Most of us understand that this information is needed. When customers get frustrated is when they have to repeat that information again if and when they reach a company representative. A study conducted by Aspect Software showed that customers who had to repeat their information were less likely to be satisfied with their customer service experience. This may seem like a small step, but making customers repeat their actions implies two things, 1) that you don’t have a streamlined system the feeds information from one customer interaction to the next , 2) that you don’t care about their time.

Repetition is frustrating for everyone. Doing the same thing, again and again, can make a person crazy. It’s a small thing you can do for your customers, acknowledge in some way the efforts they have already made, and don’t make them jump through the same hoops repeatedly, especially when they already know what’s on the other side.