Jim S Miller

Thoughts on the Client Experience and Banking

Do Smart Phones Lower Customer Satisfaction?

with 2 comments

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Technology has done a lot of great things to improve the customer experience, but it is also creating new challenges that many companies have not yet started to address. IT departments restrict internet access to keep employees from accessing non-work related sites, but what about technology that doesn’t run through the corporate network? In my experience, cell phones started taking a toll on customer satisfaction because customers wouldn’t get off the phone when it came their time to check out, or their turn at the teller window (don’t dare try it at the DMV, they won’t help you), and everyone in line behind them became annoyed. I have noticed a change now that smart phones are becoming more prevalent. It seems that many businesses have not talked to their employees about when it is appropriate to check Facebook, email, surf the web or “whatever” on their smart phones.  Pulling out of a parking deck recently I had to wait while the attendant did something with his iPhone. This weekend at the veterinary office, while I was getting helped by one employee, the other was playing with her smart phone while answering the office phone. This can’t be a good thing for customer service! Too many businesses put employees in customer service roles without any training, guidelines or expectations.  Front-line employees need to know how to greet a customer, how to thank them for their business, how to properly say good-bye (hint: “have a good one” is not one of the options), and when it is acceptable to use their smart phones. If you are in a customer service job, put your phone down and focus on your customers. If you manage customer service employees, do you know what they are doing in front of your customers? Make sure your employees know what is expected and don’t leave it to chance.

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Written by Jim S Miller

November 8, 2010 at 1:29 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I sincerely think that cell phones are (among other things) the smoking of our time. At least they don’t literally stink, and the jury is out on whether they cause tumors. They are catastrophically distracting for customer-facing employees (including, most alarmingly, LIFEGUARDS). Great article.

    Micah Solomon

    November 9, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    • Micah: Thinking of lifeguards with smart phones is scary…. Safety issues aside, they certainly aren’t helping the client experience. Thanks for your comment.

      Jim S Miller

      November 9, 2010 at 3:25 pm


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