How To Fail At Live Support Chat
Recently, I signed up for the US Post Office’s USPS Informed Delivery®* .
* If you haven’t heard about it yet – when you sign up USPS sends you notifications (via email and/or text message) about packages and other mail pieces soon-to-be-delivered to your address.
With the Holidays just around the corner and online ordering peaking during this season, I find it a very helpful tool, updating me on upcoming deliveries (because sometimes you don’t even know something is about to arrive).
In this case, I had received a couple of updates already notifying me of an upcoming delivery of a package from a friend.
Well, that’s strange.
Mind you, it’s 7:50 in the morning.
I am at home (= delivery address).
Nobody rang the doorbell.
Nobody even walked up to our door (We have video cameras, we would have received a notification).
But of course I want to bring the package inside; and maybe our video system is experiencing a glitch, or maybe they left it further down the courtyard where the front door camera didn’t quite catch them (I do understand the delivery drivers are busy little elves this time of the year).
Well… you know where this is going, right? Right.
No package on the porch. Not in the courtyard, not behind, next to, or in between the bushes either.
Well, OK, they’re really busy and have tons of packages to deliver, right? Maybe they misread the street number, and it’s on one of neighbors’ porches. No big deal, I don’t live in a rural area where my next door neighbor is a mile away, right?
Uhm… well… nope. Not there either.
Well, isn’t that lovely.
Not even 8 o’clock, and now I have to deal with a missing package. And I don’t even know what was in there (as stated, it was from a friend and supposed to be a Christmas present).
As I’m trying to find the support phone # for USPS on their website to report a missing package, a “can we help you” support chat box pops up at the bottom of the screen.
I am generally not a fan of those, as my past experiences using live support chats are mixed at best.
I decide to give it a shot, and here’s how it went down (identifying information edited as well as typos):
Note: Before you connect to the chat, you are already asked to describe your problem (which I did). Very rarely is the responding agent’s message already related to the initial problem (Great exception: amazon.com!)
*Sigh* That went well.
Defeated, I pick up the phone and call their support phone number. A friendly computer voice informs me that my wait time is going to be an estimated 1 hour and 39 minutes. No problem. I have nothing else to do on a Tuesday morning.
With my phone on speaker on my desk next to me I go about my business; when suddenly – some 20 minutes into my wait – my neighbor from 3 houses down brings over a package.
She found it on her porch as she was leaving for work.
The Moral of The Story?
•Don’t put a “live support chat” button on your website unless you are in fact dedicated and equipped to provide live support.
• Scripted or canned responses that have nothing to do with the customer’s issue are never and in no way beneficial to your business.
•Live support is a commitment and so much more than a button on your website linked to some outsourced overseas call center.
• Our neighbors are the best!