I never really thought about the topic of customer service until very recently. I attended a seminar which featured a host of different speakers on many topics including marketing. Here is what has “stuck” with me----“Provide even average customer service and your clients will be blown away!”
The premise for this outrageous statement is that clients’ expectations are so low these days, that even a modest attempt at providing reasonable customer service is not only appreciated, but is rewarded by clients with loyalty. We all have sat on hold for way to long only to get a service rep that we cannot understand and who cannot possibly help us. I guess we do not really expect very much.
Another speaker at the seminar recounted how his rental car company screwed up, gave lousy customer service and did not make an effort to remedy the problem. He said that before he drove of the lot, he gave that company a terrible review and disseminated the information to tens of thousands of his social media followers. So, in today’s world of instantaneous media, it is risky to completely ignore customer service even if expectations are low.
So, I asked myself, could customer service in this country really be that poor? I just came from my bank and about 10 people tried to force a water bottle into my hand. When I got to the teller, she tried to make small talk about what I planned to do this weekend. What do I expect?
Here are my thoughts about customer service:
Great Results--- Objectively, if great results are being obtained, I don’t care one bit about customer service. If the rental car is what I ordered at the right price and on time, I am overjoyed. If the bank deposit cleared without error, I don’t need follow up calls or water bottles.
Effort --- Trying to provide the services is all I expect--- even if something goes wrong. If I call because I have an important question or something has gone wrong, I want the call answered or a return call within a reasonable period of time. For my small law office, we try to take the calls as they come in. Next, we try to return the calls that day. Finally, all calls returned within 24 hours.
Ownership--- If there is a problem---the rental car is not available--- there is a bank error--- just own up to the problem and tell me that you are on it. Tell me you will make it right. Tell me what it is going to take to remedy the problem and how long it is going to take.
That’s it. It’s so simple--Do these things and I will be a loyal customer for life. I will not give you a negative review. I might even give you a positive review. Sure, I may go thirsty. But, let’s face it---I went to the bank to make a deposit, not to refresh myself!
What does customer service mean to you?