Who are you? The importance of cross-searching. Part 1 of 2

I have no idea what the technical term for what I am describing is. It can be called “use other available resources” or “cross-search” or whatever, but once I explain I am sure you will understand what I am talking about. This is a two part mini series. The first part is my experience and the second part (to be posted tomorrow) is what you can do to make sure your customers do not have to have the same experience I did.

I called a large consumer company the other day. I found the phone number and how to get through to them on GetHuman. I used the GetHuman “cheat” and got to a live representative within about 5 minutes. He introduced himself, collected my personal information (name, email address, serial number from the product, etc.) and then gave me a case number. At first, I thought he was just giving me the case number in case I got disconnected or something, which is fine (and a good idea). I wrote the case number down and read it back to him. He confirmed what I had written down was correct.

I could hear him typing and about 10 seconds after I had read back my case number, he gave the phrase I didn’t want to hear “I will now connect you to a specialist if that is okay with you.” I said it was okay (not like I really had a choice) and waitd on hold for another 5 or so minutes before being connected to a “specialist.” I was connected to the specialist who started asking me for my personal information again. I told him I had a case number. He said “OK, give me the case number.” and I read it to him.

That is when the problem started. For some reason, the case number the first representative gave me (that I had written down) was not the right one. I think having the wrong case number was my fault (I transferred the case number from where I had first written it (my computer – typed) to a post it note (written) and I think I messed up a number in between), but that isn’t the point of the story.

I asked if he could search using my name or email. He said he could try. He searched using both (which I’m 100% sure were correct) and could not find my record. He kept searching, but still couldn’t find the case number that had been given to me by a representative 10 minutes earlier. We gave up and I explained my problem again, gave my personal information again, and we continued to troubleshoot the problem.

Part two will be posted tomorrow. Stay tuned!

One Response to “Who are you? The importance of cross-searching. Part 1 of 2”

  1. Service Untitled » Importance of making things easy. - customer service and customer service experience blog said:

    Mar 05, 07 at 4:40 pm

    […] I’ve talked about cross-searching (part 1 and part 2) before. It’s really an interesting thing and can be very useful. A few weeks ago, I read a post on Ryan Caron’s blog about making customers happy with some simple customer service tips. […]