October 2013 ~ Keys
to Great Customer Service (Addendum)
Suggestions for Ancestry.com
If we were consulting with Ancestry.com, here are some
suggestions we would make:
- Make great customer service a top goal for the entire company.
- Appoint a high-level executive who has a passion for great customer
service and put them in a position to re-work the customer support
- Train everyone in the company on great customer
- Require that all employees build and maintain their own family tree in
Ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker. Require that they use those
products regularly so they understand how the products work. Support
staff cannot assist customers if they don’t use and understand the product
their company sells.
- Ask for a significant number of employees to volunteer for DNA testing and
ask them to use the results so they learn how that product works.
- Require that all customer service personnel have a great attitude.
If they don’t, get rid of them or find another job for them. There
is simply no excuse for a poor attitude in people who deal with customers.
- Hire "usability consultants" to work with and train Ancestry.com’s
software development staff. Usability consultants are trained
professionals who help software/technical staff understand customer needs
and the ‘usability’ of their products. As part of that effort,
they should bring in real customers and watch how the customer actually use
the Ancestry products before releasing them for sale.
- Improve the beta testing process for software updates so that there is
enough time to fix problems that arise. Beta testers should be given
specific areas to test with specific guidelines so that all parts of a new
product are tested. Software with significant problems should not be
released to customers until it works well.
- Research how other large companies have gone out of business due to poor
customer services. Take a good look at processes inside the company
where poor customer service is damaging the company’s reputation with
existing customers and potential new customers.
- Remember: existing customers are the best source of continued
revenue. Keeping them should be a high priority, which means listening
to them and treating them with respect (see the 10 tips in the front part of
this month’s article).
The customer support organization is the "face" of Ancestry.com and
when incompetent people are the customer’s primary contact, a lot of paying
customers and future customers are lost. They walk away. Some
complain because they care; many others don’t bother. Ancestry’s reputation among
genealogists and the general public is pretty poor right now and seems to be
getting worse, much of it because of the low quality of their customer support
Poor customer service is a fixable problem and it needs some serious
attention at Ancestry.com. Ancestry has a great product in their website
tree system, which in my opinion, is far better than any other genealogy site I
Ancestry has a great product in their desktop software product, Family Tree
Maker, if they will put attention to fixing the problems with it.
Ancestry’s DNA product could be the best in the world, if they fix the problems and implement the features that customers are begging for (a chromosome
browser is just one example).
A tiny volunteer-run company with a free website GEDmatch.com
is struggling to keep up with the demand for their site because it offers
features that others do not. They offer a DNA matching service that is very much
needed. They have great features and great customer service in spite of
struggling to keep up with demand.
until recently purchased by Ancestry.com — was also a small free website that
grew to become the best in its class, even with mostly volunteers running the
site and many out-of-date features.
The major thing at Ancestry.com that needs
"fixing" is their attitude about customer service. And, it is a
fixable problem if only someone CARES enough to put attention on it.
Page updated: May 26, 2015
for Management Excellence, Copyright
© 1980-2013 All rights reserved
This page is http://www.itstime.com/oct2013a.htm