Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Online chat reps, please speak up

I’m all about using the “Chat Now” tool on e-commerce sites – why pick up the phone when you can just send an instant message to a customer service representative and get all of your questions answered on the spot? In my mind, seeing that feature on a site shows the company is not only thinking about the customer experience but it’s also an industry innovator.

I recently found myself chatting away with a customer service representative from online retailer I was in the process of purchasing a wireless Rock Band guitar as a part of a birthday gift and wanted it shipped to the recipient’s home before I visited that following weekend. My obvious goal was that I wanted to be there when they opened the box. After the customer service representative answered all of my questions and assured it would arrive in time, I couldn’t have been more pleased with my first Newegg experience.

That is, until the next weekend when I arrived to find the Rock Band guitar box completely exposed and sitting pretty in their apartment. The gift wasn’t opened without me; Newegg just put the mailing address on the box itself and shipped it out on its way. So much for the surprise.

I completely support retailers that are going more green and cutting back on packaging costs, but my frustration lies with the customer service representative: After conversing for more than 10 minutes, they didn’t care to mention my gift would arrive completely exposed? I don’t know Newegg, perhaps I’m not that all impressed with you and your chat skills after all.

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