Some people seem to think customer service is this really hard set of skills, techniques and magical formulas that are learnt in secret service school!
It starts with good manners
The fact of the matter is that good service starts with something as simple as good old-fashioned manners (remember all those years of your parents continually nagging you?).
A colleague of mine gave me a great example of this done very badly, let me share this story with you and you be the judge.
After sending lots of sales letters he started following them up with phone calls. Not everyone was available so he left messages for them. One of these people called him back which is nice to see in this busy day and age.
The caller said his name a little fast and my colleague missed it, so during the call he asked the person which company he was from to ensure he was speaking with the right person. Well, this sent the caller off into a tirade of abuse ending basically with the words ‘well if you don’t even know where I am from I just don’t have time for this – I am busy you know’ and proceeded to hang up!
Now I know some of you will have mixed responses to this but my colleague did try to explain he had sent out dozens of letters and spoken to lots of people. Not unfair, I thought and certainly didn’t deserve the response he got, least of all the fact he was offering a service these organizations really could benefit from for their customers so it might have been worth taking the time to understand this first.
Oh and by the way did I mention the person who was so rude was the CEO?
Basic good manners don’t take much and my first thought after hearing this was ‘Wow! What an example to set for your organization, what do your staff have to put up with? Would I really want to deal with you and your company?’
No matter how bad your day is going don’t take it out on other people, least of all people you don’t even know – potential customers, as you might just be the one losing out!
Here are some interesting trends for 2012 which highlight the points above to build on increasing relationships with customers
The role of the contact centre:
We’re living in a fantasy that the ringing of the PBX is starting a process in which a company engages with a customer. The contact center has to wake up and realize that it is becoming the second or third point in the journey of the customer. The other thing they have to realize is that the role of the contact center will have to change. Companies also must start to realize that customers usually call the contact center because something is wrong and they need to get it resolved. The contact center will become the emotional side of the business. – Eric Tamblyn, vice president, product marketing, Alcatel-Lucent Genesys
The contact center has always housed a large percentage of important interactions with customers, but companies learn very little from these key touchpoints. That’s changing. Newer technologies will allow companies to extract deep insights from unstructured content like recorded calls, emails, and chat sessions. Leading companies will learn what drives satisfaction and loyalty and use the information to change the products they sell, how they market their offerings, and how they service customers. – Bruce Temkin, managing partner, The Temkin Group
- You never know who you might be speaking with and you never know who they might know.
- We all have bad days but we can never take them out on customers.
- What can we learn from our customers previous contacts with us that we can use to help them in future?
“….Arrgghhh! now who is that phoning me now… 🙂
If you want more tips on good customer service, check out www.rapid-results.com or the 1 minute training videos in this series at http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2D09434E9031B687&feature=plcp