I ordered a pizza yesterday–it was more like four, but let’s not get into the specifics. (If you must know, the pizza was from Dominoe’s.)
The customer service representative (CSR from now on) who answered the phone had a pleasant voice. She explained about an offer and I declined. I asked her if another offer (that I was interested in) was available. She said that it was.
I then asked if I could swap one kind of pizza for another. She patiently listed the pizzas that I could order and took down my choices.
Her voice was clear, she spoke without hurrying or sounding stressed, even though she probably was–let’s face it, handling customer’s calls isn’t the most easy job in the world.
I will remember this particular because she made the interaction pleasant. I wouldn’t want to use the word “memorable” but in terms of recalling the experience, that’s what it feels like.
When you discuss usability, you read about memorability of the interface. I think that this applies to customer interactions as well.
In my experience, however, most customer service representatives don’t strive to create a memorable experience. Maybe they’re stressed, over-worked, etc., but as a customer, what I “see” is the interaction, not the underlying causes for the interaction. In the case of CSRs who handle phone calls, the interaction is a mixture of listening, responding clearly, and solving the problem, if any.
A great CSR can make the interaction memorable and as a result make you feel good about the interaction. I doubt if there are metrics for this, but for me the feeling good part is pretty priceless.