A Tale of Three Contact Centers



By Samuel Greengard

Last week, I found myself coping with a number of products and services that required support. Not surprisingly, there were marked differences in how well the companies handled the inquiry and how effectively they resolved things. What's more, each of these examples offers some insight into how effectively they've integrated business processes with IT.

Comcast: After the Xfinity iPad and iPhone apps that change TV channels stop working and the cable box won't work right, I dial Comcast. Let's just say that four disconnects, three transfers and nearly two hours later, the problem persists and nobody can fix it. Can you spell i-n-f-u-r-i-a-t-i-n-g? Oddly, the next morning, everything works fine again.

Report Card

Contact center Efficiency: F

Resolution: F

Comment: I'm given scads of conflicting and incorrect information. The irony of a communications company that can't seem to prevent dropped transfers and disconnected calls is inescapable.

Wells Fargo: I attempt to use a new mobile check deposit feature. However, when I scan the check and attempt to submit it from my iPhone, I am informed that the amount exceeds my daily limit for mobile deposits. The customer support agent is polite and pleasant, but can't help. I request a supervisor, who is also polite but tells me she cannot raise the limit for security reasons.

This raises a few questions: Why would a mobile app impose a limit when ATMs and branches don't have limits? Why was I not notified about this limit up front? Why wouldn't a supervisor have some discretion or a way to further escalate the issue? And why, in an era of sophisticated analytics, wouldn't the bank differentiate among good and bad customers?

Report Card

Contact Center Efficiency: A

Resolution: D

Comment: Wells Fargo operates a world-class contact center with well-trained staff, but one has to wonder whether business and IT executives are sitting at the same table when they design systems.

SiriusXM: After leasing a new vehicle I need to deactivate the radio in the previous car and activate the new radio. First stop is the Website. Unfortunately, it won't let me handle the process and merge multiple accounts (which have been created because, apparently, SiriusXM allows dealers to create new accounts without checking with the buyer). Next stop is customer support. The first agent is completely lost but escalates the call to a senior agent who, over the course of 20-plus minutes, gets everything straightened out. He's pleasant, professional and extremely efficient.

Report Card

Contact Center Efficiency: B

Resolution: A+

Comment: SiriusXM seems to understand the importance of having well-trained senior reps available to resolve problems.