Customer Service 😵💫
May 29, 2021 2:30 am
This email will be pretty short today. I'm sitting in my office on my laptop in a house that is basically empty. Tomorrow I drive our moving truck to our new home in Arkansas.
I want to share two stories about customer service. The first is with a moving truck company. We placed our reservation online, and called the location 24 hours in advance just to make sure things were fine. You can tell we are distrustful. We were informed that they didn't have the truck we reserved, so we'd have to take a smaller one. Getting a trailer wasn't an option too since they were all booked. So now I have to make some pretty quick decisions about getting rid of stuff. One real easy decision though is to not use them again. I'd gladly play twice the price to not wonder if my move will happen.
We needed to get our house cleaned, so we contacted some cleaners. They informed us they were going to be late, and when they arrived did their job wonderfully. We paid them more than their fee since they cleaned everything we needed and were both punctual and flexible with our schedule.
I bring these stories up because each of these experiences started through online products that teams and companies busted their butts to build. One experience led to a fan for life, the other led to me performing a ritual curse on them.
I think its easy to compartmentalize what we do in software to focus on our delivery so much that we don't often realize that we're optimizing a broken service that makes people miserable.
It can be hard to incorporate what real people think and do with the experiences we create through software, but I think its part of the puzzle we can't turn a blind eye on.
One way I typically try to encourage this behavior with product owners is to ask them for the phone number of the user in their user story.
In my whole career over a decade only one has ever known any information about any customer. That is truly sad.
So what can you do to get closer to the real experiences of your users?
Talk to you soon, I have some fun stuff in the works!