I have been a UX Designer on many customer support applications, most recently Zendesk, so I have more than a passing interest when I contact customer support for myself. A good application like Zendesk certainly is important but I am always reminded of how the company's back office systems play a huge role in the customer's experience. My own recent experience doing a simple service change to my AT&T landline was such a good example I had to share it. Beyond the frustration it ends up costing the customer real money and fundamentally affects their view of the company and even leads one to question the motives of the company.
Over the years, due to wireless phones, VoIP, web conference software, FAX services, etc,. my business landlines have dwindled down to one. Since I am old school I kept that last one around and figured the $75.00 a month was worth the emergency backup and convenience. I would periodically call AT&T to ask if there was a way to reduce the cost, perhaps by removing the features like voicemail which we never use on this line. I was always told this was the cheapest I could go. Finally I decided to discontinue the line since I rarely use it.
My customer experience with AT&T begins.
July 22. I call customer service to discontinue the landline. Suddenly I am told that there is a different plan that would keep everything the same except for Caller ID and Voicemail for $35.00. Despite being annoyed that this option did not appear till I actually tried to disconnect I went for it.