Good Experience, Terrible IVR

paypal_logo This post is short, but the point is really easy to get. I had to PayPal earlier this week. I’ve been a happy PayPal customer for a long time. The phone number was easy enough for me to find. It rang quickly and the IVR came on.

The experience was fine until that point. For some reason, PayPal’s IVR was really bad. It was worse than a usually bad IVR and it was very disappointing. There was a lot of PayPal jargon, it didn’t understand my voice very well, and the menus weren’t well designed. I had to scream at a few menus and eventually I got it to ask me if I wanted to be connected to a representative. Obviously, I said yes.

From there, the experience was just fine. I was connected to an English speaking representative within a minute. He was friendly and helped me get my issue resolved. He followed the proper customer service etiquette and knew the answers to my questions.

PayPal got it right with the hard part (the human part), but couldn’t get it right with the easy part (the IVR). It is a lot easier to change an IVR than it is to change a lot of humans. I was surprised to see such a disparity between the quality of the representative and the IVR.

Your company should not have that problem. If you can get the more complicated part of the customer service experience down, then there should be no excuse for not having the simple parts down. Remember to pay attention to the little things or your customer service experience won’t improve nearly as much as you’d like it to.

Another thing that PayPal did (that I liked) was send me an email when they received a document I had faxed to them. The email told me that they had received the fax, that the information provided allowed them to find me, and that it would be processed shortly. I got another email the next day saying that they were processing the document. Two very simple emails to send – both a huge help.

If PayPal had a better IVR, the experience would have gotten an A for sure.

2 Responses to “Good Experience, Terrible IVR”

  1. Maria Palma said:

    Oct 03, 07 at 12:24 am

    I’m a PayPal customer too and always have had pleasant experiences with their customer service reps. However, I too am annoyed by their IVR system. Sometimes I’ll be waiting for quite some time to talk to someone, but then I’ll get cut off.

  2. darren said:

    Oct 07, 07 at 3:26 am

    I couldn’t agree with you more…little things DO count. I had a similar experience which I blogged about on my telephone company’s billing system – horrible!

    Whatever goes on behind the scenes is their issue. Just don’t lose sight of the consumer…or it’s all for not, in my view.