The Issue: Customer service means meeting the needs of your key constituencies: Those sainted souls who have bought, will buy or might buy your products and services. Performed well, it can easily make your business; neglected, it can break it like a matchstick.
What I Think: Routine customer service should be wind-and-go. At times, though, routine customer service doesn’t cut it. That’s when we either go the extra mile, or decide it’s not worth the effort and accept the consequences.
- How would you have handled the following situations?
- What, if anything, would you have done differently?
Example 1: I take my reading glasses on and off several dozen times a day. So instead of keeping track of where I’ve set them down each time, I wear them around my neck on a cord. I had one cord for a couple of years before it broke—a good run, I’d say. The first replacement broke within a week; the next was too long and got in my way: none others were available.
Googling the company took me to www.Chumspromotional.com.
Phoning the toll-free number, I explained the situation to a pleasant Customer Service rep, Sani Raabe, who immediately offered to mail me several other cords to try. I could reorder the one that worked best.
Seven samples arrived in a hand-addressed envelope the following week. The first one I tried has been working like a charm ever since. I called Ms. Raabe to say thanks for her concern, and laud her first-class customer service!
Example 2: Ever notice how many adult women interviewed by the media sound like teenagers? Instead of pulling up their words from their mid sections, they speak from the roofs of their mouths. They may wizards in their fields, but aside from their parents and teenage boys, who pays much attention to teenage girls?
The same goes for men who either don’t sound-off like they have a pear (pun intended) or shriek like banshees.
- One the one hand, a priest at our church simply does not project his voice, so unless you’re in the first few pews, you miss half of what he says.
- On the other hand, screamers like ubiquitous TV product-pusher, Billy May, has everyone within earshot wishing he’d just shut up!
Bad for business? Gee, Do You Think? SBOs of both the popular genders need to know how they come across to customers over the phone and in person. How to find out? Ask your spouse, a friend or an employee. If the problem is impervious to self-help and self-discipline, invest in a voice coach.
Example 3: The past two weeks have not exactly been good ones for yours truly. First, as detailed in this space last week, my computer crashed and the hard drive had to be scrubbed of some nasty viruses before my programs and previously saved data could be restored. Ironically, a few days later we lost Internet service when my Verizon DSL connection went down for the count, and stayed down.
Several calls to Verizon Tech Support brought no solutions, just a lame promise: “We regret the inconvenience, and will get back to you within 72 hours.”
Customer Neglect. That was last Thursday; it is now mid-afternoon the following Tuesday, and I’d still be waiting if I hadn’t gotten busy arranging new DSL and phone service from Verizon’s biggest competitor: Brighthouse.
Now that my new DSL service has kicked in, I can post this “Issue of Week” and my eblog, “Daily Grin.” But thanks to the juiciest example of customer neglect I can remember, both are just a tad late!
What Do You Think? Your comments are welcome. Have you registered?
Bill Willard is a freelance writer in Clearwater FL. He has been a high-impact writer and editor for over 30 years. In addition to his byline pieces, Bill’s beat includes ghostwriting and editing for businesses of all types and sizes, and professional practitioners and individuals. He also is a www.thefreestyleentrepreneur.com Contributing Author.
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