Is online customer service usually poor?

I found a good article from an unsatisfied Barclays customer: Why do banks suck so badly at online customer service?

He wrote a long article about online support via email. Please find below Chris Lake’s conclusion:
“So, to sum up:
1. I started out online.
2. I selected ‘email me a reply’.
3. Barclays ignored that and sent me a reply by post.
4. And then told me I had to to telephone them if I wasn’t happy.
This is a four-channel customer communication mess, folks.

And the morals of this sadsack story are about keeping it simple, about managing customer expectations, about encouraging communication (and thus satisfaction), about not throwing any curve balls, and about allowing the customer to exercise a little control (especially if you offer them control).”

There were only 4 comments, but they are as interesting as Chris’s post: other customers faced the same problem with Barclays, HSBC and Cahoot online. On the other hand, they seem very pleased with Direct Line and Smile.

What do you think?

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Written by Christophe Langlois

Based in London, Christophe is an entertaining social media keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of social media, social business and digital innovation.

Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries.

Currently, Christophe is 'Social Media Senior Managing Consultant' at IBM Interactive Experience. He's also a Digital Advisor at the Financial Services Forum and the Moller Centre (part of the Churchill College in Cambridge).

Christophe's views on are his own, not necessarily his employer's.

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