Poor Customer Experience? The writing’s on the wall…

Those that ignore Customer Experience do so at their peril, and there are plenty of examples. Customer Experience is not just for bricks-and-mortar. Big companies seem to feature more in lacking Customer Experience – such as Auckland Transport, Vodafone, Spark. LinkedIn for instance.

I have a premium account on LinkedIn. I’m in good company. Sometime in the last year, LinkedIn decided that it would be more valuable (to whom?) to provide a similar service for more than twice the cost – and of course no longer offer the plan that I’m on. Not to mention arbitrarily increasing the cost my current plan. They didn’t tell me. First advice I had, there it was in my online banking transactions.

If I ‘cancel subscription’ I’ll be forced to enjoy my current benefits until 364 days from now, because that’s when my subscription will stop. No refund.

Raising a ticket in LinkedIn Support, I receive a message from an excellent customer service rep providing a couple of options that aren’t offered in the ‘upgrade’ or ‘cancel’ pathways on LinkedIn’s website. Good customer service does NOT (necessarily) mean good Customer Experience.

These are my suggestions for LinkedIn to step back from alienating their paying customers (which I also sent to their customer service person):

  1. Great that LinkedIn has a table comparing plans, features vs price. BUT people on a ‘legacy’ plan such as mine are not shown what features they have so are therefore not able to make an informed decision. Please show what’s included in the legacy plan(s).
  2. LinkedIn should as a matter of course provide at least two emails to customers: a) One month before due date – “this is your plan, your renewal date, the price you will be billed, and here’s how your current plan compares to other options…” b) One week before… repeat a) but presented as a “friendly reminder”
  3. 3) LinkedIn should not use scare tactics to coerce people to stay e.g. …you will lose… and won’t be able to regain… (on their ‘cancel my subscription’ page)
  4. AS A MATTER OF COURSE, LinkedIn refund policy should be changed to recognise that customers have a choice and heavy-handed policy only serves to alienate, working against customer loyalty. The refund policy should be pro-rata. In fact all policies should be designed and continually optimised for best customer experience.
  5. When changes are made to billing it should be an IMMEDIATE message to advise price adjustments, reasons, and what options we as customers then have.
  6. It seems that a change in culture would be the best place to start. LinkedIn should actively and urgently seek to shift it’s culture to embrace Customer Experience. Then the above suggestions would automatically flow – along with many others. The result: continuous innovation, advancing Customer Experience, customers for life, long-term increasing revenue.

Does your business have a culture of continuous improvement through Customer Experience?