Every week, Sumair and I will post our most interesting customer service and customer effort minded stories for the week as part of a Friday recap. We’ll comment on one story each and then add 3 others for your review.
For the seventeenth installment, and week 21 of 2017:
Topic: Is Customer-First Just a Smokescreen?
Source: The Low Down / Motherboard: http://www.thelowdownblog.com/2017/05/apple-verizon-caterpillar-and-consumer.html
Commentary: Right to Repair laws are being proposed and contested all across the country. Recently, New Jersey announced (link) that it was considering the pursuit of repair laws similar to those considered in New York and 10 other states. Similar laws have been shot down in Minnesota and Nebraska. This battle by manufacturers and service organizations against open repair policies is extremely interesting and points to the large market opportunity in the service and repair space. On the other hand, we see a great deal of manufacturers looking to open up more self-service resources for their customers as they look to provide better access to information to customers. Yet, this self-service information primarily pertains to account management and other requests that are costly to field in the support center or via field service dispatch. When it comes to profitable part sales or repairs, manufacturers want to limit the options and choice available to the customer for a variety of reasons (profitability, quality, reliability, and more). While one would normally assume that choice of repair options is what’s best for the customer, this might not always be the case.
I’d be extremely interested to get your thoughts as service leaders and as consumers…..Do respond with your opinions on the right to repair.
Topic: JetBlue and Facial Recognition Boarding Process
Source: CNet (https://www.cnet.com/news/your-next-jetblue-boarding-pass-might-be-your-face/)
Commentary: Airlines have been in the news a lot lately. But, thankfully, this isn’t another airline gone wrong story. The article above actually looked at an airline being proactive in an attempt to solve a customer experience frustration – the boarding process for a flight. JetBlue is piloting a program with US Customs and Border Protection to leverage facial recognition and biometric data to get you on your flight without a physical boarding pass (either printed or mobile). I commend Jet Blue on their attempt to use available technology and data to speed up a process which rivals the example of a customer service call where you must re-enter information multiple times when you know the customer support agent already has your information stored in their knowledgebase. By the time you get to your gate, you would have already checked in online with your confirmation number, gone through security checkpoints with valid identification, and been seated in front the gate probably accessing wi-fi through your mobile device.
I don’t know if speeding up the boarding process by a few minutes will really improve my experience with the airline as there are so many other points to drop the ball along this journey (i.e., lost baggage, delayed flight, a seat back tv which doesn’t work), but at least JetBlue is trying. And, I have to commend them for attempting to ease customer effort.
Our Three Other Articles
1- Brands unclear who should take responsibility for customer experience (Marketing Week, 6/1/17)
2- Swedish bank SEB is using a ‘cognitive agent’ for customer service (DIGIDAY, 6/2/17)
3- Restaurants, bars adding technology to enhance customer experience (ABC7 News Chicago, 6/1/17)
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Till next week.