Customer Service Failures Due to Poor Information Management

I recently experienced an epic customer service failure caused by poor information management (IM). When I tell people I work in IM (or the fancier sounding information governance), I often get quizzical looks. Or a long “hmmm” followed by, and what does that mean, exactly? If I do my job well, it means a seamless experience for both the customer and the customer service rep. Here’s what happened and how proper IM could help.

In May, an HVAC technician repaired our AC unit. He left us with a major gas leak, an uncleaned work area, and an AC unit not properly sealed. The damage he caused took less than 4 hours. The repair job took about 6 weeks, including 5 visits from different technicians and multiple phone calls. This included one visit from the original bozo who caused the damage.

The gas leak was an easy fix. Though even that took more than one call and escalation to the manager. Following that, it took many tries to get the right technician. We needed an installation technician. The company kept sending a service technician. On the third try, an installation technician came. However, the service notes weren’t accurate and the technician didn’t have the right equipment. He sent photos and an email to the company. I called the company again. Once more, they sent a service technician. This technician also sent photos and an email to the company.

Eventually, I escalated the situation to the manager. The manager asked me to send him photos. I did, wondering what happened to the photos previously sent by two of the company’s technicians. Following my email, the company sent the original bozo. Needless to say, I didn’t let him in. The following day they sent an installation technician who came with the right equipment. Finally!

The Fix: Proper Information Management

From my perspective, this type of failure was caused on multiple levels. However, the main failure was a lack of communication and updated information between the company’s service areas. The company sent the wrong type of technician multiple times. This wasted time and effort.

Secondly, it took weeks to get a visit from the right technician. When he arrived, he didn’t have the right equipment, another waste of time and effort.

Lastly, why weren’t all of the photos of the AC hack job compiled and noted in my customer file? Instead, three different people sent the photos.

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