How to fail greatly at Customer Success

A short story about silos, McNamara checklist and a displeasure of seeing a great failure at customer success.

I used a bank portal to get a functionality related to exchanging currencies. I asked about it on the chat, been given a link to follow and after 3 or more redirects, a few sms codes, I was shown a big tick with a success message. Of course it didn’t work.

After a few days I contacted the same bank, using the same chat. I briefed through the details, and followed exactly the same path. When I failed, I asked what should I do next. The very same person proposed to do it again. I said that I’m not willing to do it for the third time and that I’d like them to check what’s wrong with the system or my motion or whatever. It was impossible. I stated that I’m displeased with it and the chat person said:

I’m sad, that you’re not happy with our bank.

No follow up question or plan. I rated the conversation with the lowest rate looking forward to a call that would explain what’s going on. It didn’t happen.

I asked a person co-owning the account to do the same. They failed the same way.

We went to the branch to do it in person. Guess what we heard?

It’s impossible to do it, because you have online motions pending.

We went back, I cancelled mine, they issued another motion for cancelling theirs (yeah, a motion cancelling motion). Once it’s all cancelled we’re going to go again to the branch to try to do it.

Now count all these personas in this drama. Every single one probably worked according to their process. Everyone did what they were told to do. All the KPIs or whatever they have are met. I bet they are. At the end of this McNamara fallacy checkpoint list there’s a customer falling through the cracks.

In IT, we often discuss silos, Convway’s law and others. It’s interesting to observe how you can fail at Customer Success in regular day to day processes.

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