If you’re designing your customer service experience – and that experience involves people phoning you up…

There cannot be any justification at all in asking the caller to give you whatever internal reference number that YOU have for them.

Here’s a relatable experience that I’m sure most of you have had – I had to phone my car insurance company today, and when I eventually managed to get through the call tree to talk to a claims handler, their first question to me was “what is your policy number?”

There is no rationale in any business – short of accessing your numbered Swiss bank accounts – where the internal reference number is MORE AT HAND than, for example, your car registration number, address, and date of birth.

There is only one reason why this exists, and it’s because the IT vendor has implemented the system that the users have. And even then I can’t understand why it exists because it’s 2023 and everyone working at the IT vendor would have been frustrated by this rubbish and surely would have vetoed the solution.

This one, I can’t explain.