That Customer Again!?

Sorry, but I always have customer service on my mind.

I read everything about customer service I can get my hands on. To me customer service is what business is all about. Customer service is what the customer wants from us. It is what keeps those customers coming back time after time even after we screw up and yes, we all screw up from time to time.

Think about your own life. Do you like to complain to a company? Do you enjoy it when something goes wrong? Don’t your hate it when that new washing machine you bought last week is not working and you are going to have to call the store up? Do you dread it when you are going to have to talk to the guy plowing your driveway because he is doing a bad job? Or when you have a misunderstanding about a warranty and you are going to have to call someone up about.

Look, we all do. There are very few individuals who look forward to conflict of any kind. And yes conflict is what we expect when we have to call someone up with a complaint. We hate the idea of what they are going to say to us. Even the calmest and nicest of us worries about being disrespected or pushed enough to have to say something or worse yet getting to the point of losing control of losing our temper. Do you get it? Do you understand that tenseness I’m talking about here?

And if you don’t get it how about his scenario: You are on your way to an important sales meeting, in fact you are running the sales meeting so you have to get there tonight in order to be prepared for the meeting which starts tomorrow morning in a city two thousand miles away. You gave yourself plenty of time, left the house at four this morning to catch your plane. You made sure you had over two and a half hours of layover time in Detroit before your connecting flight to your final destination where you expect to land at four this afternoon giving you plenty of time to get to your hotel, settle in for the evening, do your prep work, have a nice quiet dinner, relax and get a good night’s sleep. But for some reason which you cannot figure out the connecting flight is delayed and delayed and delayed and then finally cancelled! And there no bad weather in Detroit and no weather at your destination. And when you join the long lime at the service counter down the hall you wait and watch as first one service person and then another and then another leaves for break and the line gets longer and longer and you wait for an hour only to be told by a bored could not care less service person that the best they can do is get you on a flight at six o’clock …tomorrow evening! And oh by the way she doesn’t know why your flight was cancelled.

Do I have your attention now? Do you understand the tenseness I’m talking about now?

Well transfer that to your customers. Is this the way they feel about you when something goes wrong? Do they fell like they are going to get the old run around? Do you try to solve their problems with empathy or do you just shrug your shoulders and say “stuff happens”? Do you walk in their shoes and go the extra mile to get them what they need or do you just give them answers based on your “company policies”?

Okay not back to dreading calling to complain about something not going the way it should. What if the person on the other end of the phone is pleasant, accommodating and helpful? What if that person not only solves your problem with a smile but goes the extra distance to compensate you somehow for your inconvenience? How does that make you feel? Relieved right? Happy right? In fact because you were expecting the worst…hell looking for the worst based on past experience that now you feel great! You want to reach through the phone and hug that person. You want to jump for joy and tell everyone you know about this great customer service you got from this great customer service person at this great customer service company.

Now back to your own company. What do you do to give your customers that feeling? Do you deliver such great customer service that your customers want to jump for joy and tell everyone they know about you and your company? If not why not…if not you are not doing things right and you’d better rethink your whole customer service approach right now. It’s only common sense.

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