The modern ethos of customer service seems to be to make yourself accessible to your customers across as many channels as you can find. While the theory of this is sound, so many businesses I use on a daily basis seem to offer multiple channels that suck!
I get it, it is cool to say hit us up in office, on the telephone, Email, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Live chat and Whatsapp but does it really make a difference to your customers if they get the same bad customer support across all those channels?
A good example of bad customer service I had the displeasure of experiencing recently
I need to make a query on my bill. My mobile phone is roaming so I cannot dial 1800 numbers, can I get a customer service number with the 876 area code?
“Dear Jermaine Valentine, Thank you for your recent contact with (company name). As requested our customer service line is 1-800-000-0000. If you are still having difficulties accessing that telephone number…”
Why this pissed me off
I took the time to explain to you what my problem was, you totally ignored my issue and provided me with absolutely useless information!
How you can avoid pissing off your customers
Listen. Listen with the intention to learn, once you have identified the customers problem craft a response that addresses the problem the customer is having not the one you have an answer for.
Another recent situation
I had to pick up an item from a company’s office. I called my agent and let her know I was pressed for time but was on my way and that I would be at her office in approximately 30 minutes.
She assured me that the item was ready and waiting to me at the front desk. When I reached the front desk and Identified myself the front-desk person was clueless as to who I was and what I was supposed to receive.
She called my agent, spoke for a few minutes and said my agent would be down with my item in a few minutes.
A few minutes turned out to be 20 minutes later
Why This Pissed me off
My time was was totally disregarded!
When your customer takes the time to indicate a time constraint do not over promise and under deliver! I do understand that shit happens sometimes, but she told me the item was ready for pick up when it was not.
Don’t waste my time…If I am sitting in your office waiting on you…I am not getting things done.
Don’t make the “outro” mandatory
In the example above, after wasting my time and pissing me off the agent then had the gall to spit their marketing slogan at me.
“Have an extra-ordinary day from…”
Check the temperature in the room…if your customer is fuming and feeling like you have totally screwed them over, have a good day sounds like sarcasm….have an extraordinary day…is a punch in the face!
Tips to improve your customer service
Don’t make me fix your error
We all pork the pig from time to time…its human, its normal it is totally fixable.
However when the error is yours do not make it the customers job to fix it. The cost of business cannot solely lay with your customer, if the error is yours then it is your job to fix it. Hell sometimes you even have to take one for the team and fixed a problem that the customer created.
Call it good Karma.
Don’t Tell me What you cannot do
I wish I could sing, play the guitar, drink milk.
Face it there are tons of stuff we cannot do and that goes for your business as well as mine. We can make your WordPress website purr, but if you want your taxes done…then your looking for some other guys.
Few things are more annoying than listening to customer service person go on and on about the things they cannot do to help you!
I DON’T CARE!
I don’t care about the one thousand and one things you cannot do, they do not help me so I don’t care. Instead of wasting both our time with the list of can’t dos focus on the one or two things that can actually be done to fix the situation and explore those options instead.
Nothing annoys a person who comes to you for help more than hearing about the many ways you cannot help them.
Don’t commit to a course of action you WONT COMPLETE
Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Do not promise follow up action you do not intend to take it. If your not going to call me back then don’t take my number and tell me you will.
The management of your customers expectations is a part of good customer service.
I AM NOT A CUSTOMER SERVICE EXPERT
I am a web developer.
That said, I know what aggravates me when I do business with other individuals and companies.
So at Web Heroes our customer service focus is based simply on the answer to the question:
how can we make our customers problems go away?
If you build your customer service around this simple question, you too can have multi-channel customer service that doesn’t suck.