Customer Effort: Does Your Invoice Ruin the Customer Experience?
If your gut reaction to this question is, of course, pause for a moment. I’m not speaking about customers wishing your product/service was free or less expensive. This story is about an alarming trend of companies sending out confusing bills.
Customer Effort: Punctuate a Great Experience With an Easy Bill
I damaged a tire on my brand new car. It was a side puncture so the tire did not go flat. Yet I suspected I would need a new tire.
I called a place I had bought tires before. Mike was very nice. He asked me what type of tire and asked me to come in and he would look at it. When I arrived Mike wasn’t there yet Dave knew about it and told me they ordered my type of tire just in case I needed it — which I did.
This was a great customer experience. They were proactive and helpful. They even said they could do it in time for me to leave for my next appointment and they did it. THEN suddenly the experience soured. I looked at the bill. There were multiple columns of numbers and fees for extra services I had turned down. I said to Dave, “Why is this so complicated? I have bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and I can’t even understand this bill.”
Dave tried to explain the bill yet you could see he was struggling to make it clear. I expected three numbers in a straight column — the cost of the tire, labor and service charges, and sales tax — that would add up to the total.
Customer Effort: Other Difficult Examples
- Telephone bills with unrecognizable taxes strewn over multiple pages. How much customer effort does it take to understand a telephone bill?
- Hotel bills that display as double entry accounting — how many customers understand double entry accounting? Extra customer effort to understand a hotel bill leaves a bad lasting memory.
- Banking statements with transactions in the order of when they cleared — most people write their check ledger in check#/date order. Why do banks ask customers to extend this extra customer effort just to balance their checkbooks? Make it easy!
Confusing bills are such an unnecessary ding against a wonderful customer experience. Don’t mar the great customer service experience you give with a confusing invoice. Raising doubt and mistrust at the moment you’re asking for money is risky and foolish!
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
©2014 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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