Customer Service is an Art
I think that most of you will agree that there is an art to good Customer Service.
We can read books and books and books about customer service (when in doubt, just google it). According to Efraim Turban in Electronic Commerce: A Managerial and Social Networks Perspective,
“Customer Service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.”
We have heard many times that perception is reality. There is no place that this is truer than in customer service. How do you enhance that perception, or feeling of good customer service. It is more than having a killer product or service. One of the most effective parts of customer service is the art of being responsive. We are very fortunate in the mid-west. Most customers (internal and external) are pretty tolerant, unless of course they get the feeling that they are being ignored. That is a big Oops! Fortunately, being responsive is one of the easiest parts of customer service to address. It does require diligence on the part of you and your team.
Be Responsive about Customer Service
— a quick response can really make a difference
You don’t have to have an answer to the question. You just have to respond quickly and acknowledge the request. Your response can be an email, text, voice mail, or even Facebook message.
One of my most frustrating clients is very non-personable – every email from him, even a simple inquiry, puts me on edge. To his credit he almost always sends a quick thanks as acknowledgement that I responded to him. He appreciates the effort.
Be Proactive about Customer Service
— anticipate the question
This isn’t your first rodeo. Be honest, you know exactly what the next question is going to be. Depending on your company you should be prepared with scripts for most customer service questions. Be preemptive, anticipate the question, and be ready to address it head on. This will save you and your customer time.
CAUTION – Being responsive does not give you permission to provide bad service or a terrible product. You still have to deliver.
A few years ago I was working through an insurance claim. The person that hit my car was very nice. His insurance agent was responsive. On the second call, the agent’s assistant was responsive. At this point I am feeling pretty good about a crappy situation. Unfortunately the insurance adjuster was EXTREMELY UNRESPONSIVE. Not only was my car not getting fixed, BUT I will probably not recommend this company to anyone because one person won’t pick up the phone.
This Week’s Challenge
Enhance your Customer Service. Make it your mission this week to respond promptly to every email or phone call. Acknowledge the request – even if you’re still looking for the answer.
. . . . go have an Awesome Week!