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There is enough time for what's important.

Andrew Mellen

Friday, February 17, 2012

Unstuff Your Communication

I spoke with the good people at TurboTax this morning and while the rep was perfectly pleasant, here's another example of the remarkable disconnect between marketing language and actual delivery.

This is from their website:

  Going Beyond Innovation

As the world evolves, so do we. Yet we remain driven by our passion for inventing solutions to solve important problems, perfecting those solutions and delighting our customers.

And here's the disconnect.

I have several accounts with TurboTax online.

At the time these different accounts were created, there was no way for me to purchase different products within the same account. Meaning, I couldn't purchase TurboTax for Macs within the same account as TurboTax for businesses ... which BTW only runs on PCs.

So I was required to open individual accounts for each product.

I called today to see if there was a way to merge these accounts together -- so I could track ALL my TurboTax downloads and transactions in one place. Which seems in keeping with at least one of their guiding principles.

Not possible.


How does one create and then maintain a policy that contradicts what one's products (and marketing) purport to do?

And when this contradiction is brought to light, what is done to address it?

I wonder if you're as tired of this language that has permeated customer service as I am: "Sorry for the inconvenience, is there anything else I can do?"

Why is everyone so sorry and so unempowered to actually affect change?

Who does this really benefit? Certainly not the customer. Nor the service rep who has to listen to frustrated callers and take notes while doing little else.

How do we break this cycle of saying we care when we really just want to get off the phone, literally or figuratively?

What would customer service REALLY look like if you could speak with someone who has the access and skill set to affect significant change in the moment?

And where in our own lives are we NOT sorry but saying it just to get out of an uncomfortable situation?

Where are OUR policies rigid and unyielding in the face of a clear and stated need that those policies claim to be created to support?

We may not be able to change Intuit, but we can certainly change ourselves.