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August 17, 2008

Typepad's Good Customer Service

I've had problems posting to Typepad since late July when I returned from India. With my recent move to the UK, there was a problem with my credit card and yet when I updated the mailing address the posting problem continued: my newer posts wouldn't show at the top of my blog (and I didn't have a featured post turned on) and yet if you showed posts by categories, those more recent posts were there.

The issue with posting festered and became a lame excuse for not getting my India diary and photos up posted, and the trip ended nearly three weeks ago! So I submitted a billing question to Typepad and got a prompt response asking me to check the Billing area of my blog dashboard-- now I had mentioned this issue with the posting but the email response from Billing said that I needed to submit a separate request via their service/help ticketing system.


This is my one complaint with this process: customers don't think of your company's separate departments or business units, we think of companies as a singular entity and expect our service issues to eb resolved no matter where the root cause of the problem lies. We want you to own the issue, whoever that original company contact may be, someone from Billing or someone from Customer Service.

If isn't possible for that Billing person to own a Customer Service issue, then pass along that customer issue to the right department internally and in the background without asking the customer to do that for you. Remember, your processes make customers go to different departments based on how you've structured the company-- but were those processes created with the customer in mind?

[By the slim chance that Typepad reads this, my professional background is in Customer Service. Specifically, I work for a best practice research firm that supports the senior executives of customer service centers for Fortune 500 companies. What we've research most recently, through a quantitative analysis of actual customers around the world, is that Customer Service departments can improve customer loyalty the most by reducing customer effort (it's not about driving for higher customer satisfaction, or delighting customers, Net Promoter Score, or even the product or the brand). Customer Service departments' ability to improve customer loyalty is best driven through  reducing customer effort.]

But I finally submitted a ticket Sunday afternoon (London time) and only a few hours later, Brianna from Typepad sent me an email saying that the issue should be resolved. Fired up the blog and sure enough, my newer posts were now showing at the top of the site.

Thank you Typepad for quickly resolving this issue, I appreciate it. And if you're listening, think about the Customer Effort metric I mentioned above. I'm sure your customers' are quite loyal already (because I count myself in that camp) but when it comes to the customer service side, think about ways to reduce customer effort when people submit tickets, it's the most effective way to improve customer loyalty (and also increase customer satisfaction at the same time too).

Now playing: Gillmor Gang 08.12.08 (Andrew Keen & Loren Feldman)


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