Sears isn’t the first company that pops in your mind when you think “customer service innovation.” But last week I was pleasantly surprised to see something that allowed me to bypass the dreaded IVR (voice mail) menus.
I needed to order replacement filters for a Kenmore Hepa 100 air purifier. I went on line to their Web site but was stymied when I could neither order them to be shipped nor order them to be picked up at the store.
I decided to call them and ask if perhaps the model had been discontinued or if other filters by different manufacturers would fit. I went to Sears.com and easily found their “Customer Service” link at the top right of their site.
I clicked on it and then noticed in the lower left hand corner of the pop up box footer a link that said, “Click To Call,” next to one that said “Email.”
“Nah, it couldn’t be this easy.” I thought. But I gave it a try. I clicked the link and up popped a field asking me to input the number at which I wanted to receive a call. “Riiiiight!” But I inputted my number, clicked “Click to Call,” and within 3 seconds or less my phone rang. An automated voice asked me to choose “1” if I had asked them to call. I did so and within 10 seconds (maybe 5) I was speaking to a human being. Other than pressing “1” to confirm that I did want to talk, there were no other prompts.
I explained my dilemma to the CSR who quickly did a warm transfer to the right person. Seconds later I was in the process of ordering the filters I needed. The entire phone call lasted less than 10 minutes and could have been done in five if I hadn’t had to walk upstairs to get the model number off of the machine.
I compliment Sears for creating a customer friendly approach to helping their customers. My stress level was much less since I didn’t have to slog through a voice mail menu. In fact, I was so amazed by the experience I was in a very positive mood when I hung up.
I hope other companies have adopted or will adopt this feature. The ease in which my need was met makes me much more likely to purchase from them again.
I don’t have a “Click To Call” option, but you can follow me on Twitter. I’m txglennross.