Posts tagged customer service
We live in a world where not valuing your customer service is a severely poor idea; information travels too quickly for your brand to combat bad customer experiences! I’m really frustrated right now with my cell phone and trying to get a seemingly simple problem fixed. I’m quite confident that this could be taken care of effectively if somebody just took the time to care about my issue, but I don’t think I’ll be so lucky. Honestly though, I don’t blame the people on the other end of the line; I feel the problem is quite clearly with a compartmentalized system and poor treatment of customer service representatives.
My phone is having an issue connecting to the internet, it keeps telling me to have an authorized person contact the customer service 1-800 number. I called. I spent six minutes going through an automated system designed to spit me out to an appropriate representative to resolve my issue. The young gentleman informed me that due to system limitations he would not have access to help me and that the issue was something I could manage online myself. I was then transferred to online support and another digital queuing machine only to be spat out to another representative who walked me through the process of creating an online account to fix my own issue. Before the problem was resolved, she assumed that I had done all the tasks required, but since I was calling from my phone I would need to disconnect before I could investigate our success.
The system makes it impossible for me to find the same rep again. I go through the queue again; after explaining the issue (3rd time) to a new person they again remind me that they can’t fix it and it’s my job to do this online and then I am transferred again. More time… more digital queue. New young man in online support gets a lightly frustrated version of myself and a full explanation of the scenario; his response: “Well I can help you with that!” He then takes a few moments and claims that I should be good to go – again, I can’t check unless I am off the phone. I disconnect after thanking him.
Problem still remains… Mobile internet is not in my future it would seem. Looks like I’ll be switching to Verizon after all.
The moral: Information travels so fast these days – companies like major cellular providers can’t afford to continue this level of customer service. Business owners would be wise to realize that your customer interactions are the fundamental cornerstone of success while your customer service representatives, cashiers, baggers, and phone operators are the front line for your business – pay them well and make them value the experience of working for you.
Bringing customers back and keeping your current customers happy is one of the most important and at times, most difficult things to accomplish in the life of your business. The steps go beyond simple customer service. The items below are ones that will lead you to distinguishing yourself from the competition. Stick to these steps to pave your road to success.
Answer the phone.
This sounds simple, maybe even stupid because of its obvious nature. But as simple and straightforward as it is, it’s truer than most other things in business. If you aren’t the phone answering type, get someone to do it for you. Hire an answering service, forward your calls, hire an assistant or a team to answer the calls. Don’t have a recording; people want to talk to a live real person. This is the first step to good business is answering the call that’s going to bring in revenue.
Commit what you can do, no more, no less.
When you think of commitment, don’t only think of a relationship with a loved one. Think of committing to your customers individually. This will bring value and a certain level of distinctness from other companies. However it is worse when you can’t deliver what you have committed. Make sure what you say is what you do. Simple as that!
Be a listener.
Every business owner is also someone else’s customer. Then they also know like the rest of the world how frustrating it is when someone is not listening to you. This is your customer’s money, make them feel comfortable with the money that they are spending with you and your venture. This way they are more likely to pass on the good news that your company is of good value and that you are good listeners.
Deal with complaints.
Walking away from a complaint helps no one. It frustrates your customer and may lead to the badmouthing of your business for the future. Assume that every customer is the most important and even if you are just listening (as many customers want, only) it is important to let them know you want to resolve it.
Be helpful, even when you don’t profit.
Not only does this concept help the world go round, it also helps business make names for them. When you go out of your way to help a client and not charge them for every bit and bop available, they feel special, valued and are likely to remember your kindness in many ways, for many moons.
Walk them there.
That extra step is what keeps people going to their favorite stores and companies. When someone asks for the best fertilizer in the store walk them there, don’t just let them know what aisle it resides. If you are on the phone and someone has a computer question, take them there, let them have the comfort of your knowledge on the other end.
A bit extra for you.
Give away things for those loyal or even tough customers. Keeping and saving face is important in business. Obviously you won’t be giving away the farm. But if you are selling a couch for $3000, why not throw in a couple of throw pillows? When we extend ourselves, people’s brain cells tend to grow memory in accordance to your act of kindness.