The Steely Dan Contact Center: When “Do It Again” Isn’t a Hit

February 24, 2015 - 10 Comments

In 1973, the group Steely Dan burst onto the music scene with two hits from their first album “Can’t Buy A Thrill.” Setting the standard for obscure lyrical references, a loyal following for the band endures even in 2015.

One of the hits, Do It Again raced up the charts as a pop-music rarity – a hit song in a minor key. Most Steely Dan fans have concluded that it’s about a gambler that must return to the tables. For a vintage rendition of the song, check out this link:

I had a recent experience that highlights just how much Do It Again resides in today’s contact centers. After being unable to locate the answer to my question on their web site, I engaged a long-time financial-service provider supplier for live help. Although my profile includes my mobile number, their system presented me with a generic interactive voice (IVR) menu for qualification. Lately, I am noticing other companies taking a more personal approach, but not here. (See my previous post “Who Can it Be Now?”)

Their IVR asked for several pieces of information and connected me to an agent who possessed only a fraction of the data I’d just entered. Asking me to repeat my initial information captured in the IVR created a first Do It Again moment. A second Do It Again occurred when the agent had to transfer me to a help desk within the same business. Here the next resource requested that I repeat exactly the same background from my first conversation! After a short dialogue, I was unfortunately disconnected.

When calling back, I reached the generic main menu again, and was forced to repeat the qualification process. Certainly the ability to recognize a redial from a mobile device exists, but not here. A third Do It Again now occurred. Finally, transferring me to the same help desk (rather than sent directly there based on context) set up Do It Again moment #4: Repeat my information!

What’s disconcerting is this is an excellent brand with modern contact centers and a high Net Promoter Score! Unfortunately, Do It Again was present throughout my customer experience.

In 2015, look for opportunities to fix Do It Again whenever you engage with your customers, and you’ll be a hit with them!

Check out how Cisco Customer Collaboration products are a great starting point in reducing customer effort and Do It Again moments.

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  1. Giving agents the tools they need to help reshape the customer experience at the unified desktop will be key to mitigating customer disloyalty. I am excited about the role that connected analytics, along with context service, will play in improving customer experience at the transaction level. We’re delivering solutions that will help our customers get it right the first time, so their customers won’t have to “Do It Again”.

  2. Who knew Walter Becker cared about quality customer care experiences…

  3. You should include music in all your posts.

  4. Great tune…great point….thanks Zack.

  5. Very informative article, Zack. Thanks a lot!

  6. Great illustration, Zack! Buying a contact center platform that replays this ’70’s hit, is a “Royal Scam”!

  7. Great article!

    besides I love the option send to KINDLE

  8. Seems to happen all the time to me, almost no data collected reaches the agent. Drives me nuts. Good idea for companies to make use of that caller id thing, I hear it will be big someday 🙂

  9. With customers demanding a simplistic omni channel approach to HUMAN contact centers it is more important than ever to provide great customer service day one. Cisco Unified Contact Center provides all of this and more. Great points….great article.

  10. Nice! Very nice!!