I was supposed to be at the store today at 10am when the product hit the shelves. I stupidly didn’t pre-order. This has been a busy week and I just didn’t pay any attention to what was going on. So, thanks to a conference call that ran long, I didn’t get to the store on time and didn’t get the Wii Fit. Bummer. But I did get a story.
My hunt started at Circuit City – got there too late. So I ran across the parking lot to Toys R Us – the last product just sold minutes before. Okay, I will try the new Best Buy that just arrived in our one-horse town. Maybe it’s not on people’s radar yet. I am an idiot, of course it was but they offered me something the others did not – customer service. So I made my way to the desk where I was greet by an incredibly nice young person, let’s call her Susan.
Susan did her best to locate a Wii Fit for me while she handled the calls coming in to the customer service desk. She ably put calls on hold and searched for other employees to field the calls. But then everything went wrong. It seems that Susan can surf the net, manage the vast online inventory management system for Best Buy, handle a two-way in her ear, but she can’t figure out how to get a call off hold.
I watched as customer after customer was put on hold only to see two smart women and then a manager struggle to “figure out” the phone system. It was a Cisco phone and I used one a few years ago when I contracted for Cisco so I offered to help. But I was no help at all. “This thing is so old fashioned,” Susan exclaimed as she slammed down the receiver. She had every intention of delivering good service, but it simply wasn’t possible to get the call back.
“We haven’t been trained on the phones yet,” said the manager. Trained. Hmm. These youngsters seemed to have all the other elaborate systems down. Could it be this really was “old” technology? Or maybe it was just too complex. Did someone overlook the user experience?
I want everyone in Santa Cruz that called near the lunch hour today to know the good people at Best Buy really did want to help you, but once your call was put on hold, it was lost; simply gone. As for business phones, we might want to think about making them a bit more intuitive.
As I was leaving the store – without any Wii Fit – I thanked Susan for all her help and for giving me fodder for my blog. And I could hear the phone ringing. Again.