Customer Service in all its Forms.
Side Story: Our phone rang a few days ago, and on the other end was an unhappy person. He claimed he had just called our offices, and whoever answered the phone was extremely rude to him. (There were only three of us in the office that day, and all three of us can verify that not only had the phone been silent for the past hour, but none of us had any similar conversation.) Obviously he had dialed the wrong number. However, the caller was upset and wasn’t going to be convinced he’d done anything wrong. What did we do once we realized this? Apologized for any misunderstandings regarding the previous phone call. We knew it wasn’t our fault, but trying to convince them of that wasn’t going to get us anywhere. Once we apologized, he accepted, and the original point of the phone call was revealed… then business as usual. He just wanted to be right, and know that someone was listening to him.
Back in the good old days, good customer service was standard. You noticed if and only if you didn’t receive good service. You expected people to treat you well, be honest, and care about you as the consumer and more importantly, their customer.
These days, it’s nearly the exact opposite. If you’re lucky enough to find somewhere that treats its customers with respect and provides exceptional service, then, and only then, do you notice. The standards have plummeted, and people are left wondering what the Sam Hill happened. When did good service stop being the reason for continued, and thriving business? Maybe a better question is: when did businesses stop caring?
It’s something we’re pretty tired of. We hope we’ve always demonstrated good customer service to our clients, but this year we’re making even more improvements to the amount of attention to detail we pay… to everything (including the immediate moods of our callers).
We’re going above and beyond to try to look inside what our customers’ needs are. Sometimes they’re not always the best at communicating those factors (sometimes they don’t even really know what they need) and if we can be pro-active in helping them lay out their plans, all the better. Just like our friend on the phone- knowing he was upset, and simply wanted to be heard was the first step in letting him know we were going to take good care of him.
If more actions were taken like that, maybe consumers would stop being so defensive in the first place and go back to expecting excellent customer service from the get-go.