With today’s vast digital estates there should be no surprise that sometimes there’s a glitch in the matrix even for the most pixel-perfect companies.
When I spot something out of order I normally make a point of letting the company know, but after the experience I recently had, I probably won’t in the future… or I’ll at least think twice about it.
It all started with a Google search linking to a mobile optimised interface
Using my iPad I searched on Google for a specific content I knew to exist on Company X’s website.
Unfortunately, clicking the link sends me through a “clever” redirect to an iPad optimised interface taking me to the homepage rather than the requested content page, effectively preventing me from reaching the content page via iPad.
So I tweeted the issue
In an attempt to be helpful, I shared the issue with Company X on Twitter as I suspected this would be an issue for all content pages accessed this way.
And they replied! Great!
Then I DMed the issue
I was then requested to explain the issue again via Twitter Direct Message, which I did.
In response I was asked to send a screenshot. I wasn’t sure a screenshot of the Google search results or Company X’s homepage on iPad would provide any value, but I felt since I started this I should try and help as much as I could.
So I took a screenshot of the Google search results and sent it in a Twitter Direct Message.
Then I submitted the issue via a web form
I thought I had done my part to be the Good Samaritan, but it wasn’t enough. I was then asked to submit the screenshot via a webform on Company X’s site.
Okay, fine! I completed the web form, attached the screenshot and wrote “As requested per Twitter conversation“.
Then I was asked to explain the issue… again… really?
Company X’s response to the screenshot submitted via the web form was that they needed the story behind the screenshot to understand what the issue was.
Frustration was growing, but I still believed I had a duty to see it through. After all, I started it! So I explained the issue for the third time.
And now I’ve been asked to take a screenshot of my original explanation on Twitter!
…uhmmm…. to be honest I’m still trying to figure out how to respond to this bizarre request… or whether to respond at all, because I am not sure I can provide any more value to solving this issue.
What have we learned today?
It is not enough to monitoring to social channels and respond to customers.
Companies have to respect the customers’ time by listening what is being said and responding with a developing conversation rather than provide a digital equivalent of Groundhog Day.
Time is finite and customers online do not have enough to spare, so when they do, treat their time with respect.