So what do you expect when you call customer service from another company? If you are in charge of customer support for your company, I recommend you contact several companies in your own industry and other industrial sectors and see how their process works, both good and bad.
A few years ago I actually called Cox Communications customer service and they answered, “I can help you, ” not the usual ‘How can I help you? ‘ It set the tone for a positive exchange and I hung up feeling good about my new cable company.
I called Nespresso this afternoon. I own one of their own espresso machines and the coffee it was making of late seemed much less strong and definitely not as good tasting since when I first purchased the machine. Just like most customer service calls these days I did have to answer one or two questions by pressing the appropriate number on the phone. But then I got a live life person. I sighed a big sigh of relief. Why is that? We are getting so used to going through layers of pressing numbers and moving in circles before getting to the person who can help us, that hearing a real voice was comforting.
This man which answered asked how he could help me. I told him briefly about the problem. Based my description he said I needed to run a clean-up kit through the machine and he would send out a kit the first thing each morning – at no charge. In addition he declared that though the directions would be included, they were there to take me through the process step by step after I received the kit.
A live knowledgeable person managed the question, offered what I needed to repair the problem, no charge, and then the offered to direct me after receiving the package deal he was sending and has been ready to go through the process.
I got off the phone happy to have purchased their particular product.
Happy customers tell a lot of people about your company and products.
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Sad customers tell even more.
I believed another customer service call this afternoon. That one didn’t go so well. First of all there were too many layers and insistence on answering by pressing figures before one could get to a live life agent, even though none of the choices in fact fit the problem. Not having a ‘none of the above’ or an opt-out of the IVR (Interactive Voice Response system) frustrates a lot of customers.
The first layer of choices didn’t match so he responded ‘representative. ‘ The automated system then said OK, representative, but we need to know which representative so choose from the next topics. Again, back to the same checklist and none of them fit. It makes you really feel as if the company doesn’t understand or care about their customer’s problem or even solving it quickly. Many customers get so impatient they simply hang up, only to either live with the problem not solved or try once again later. Sometimes they press any button and then end up getting transferred right after reaching a representative. That wastes time for both the customer and the representative.
If it takes too long to get to the help they need, a customer has built up resentment by the time they get an answer. If they get someone on the phone finally these are likely to take out that resentment on that person. That can start a vicious period that ends with a dissatisfied client who tells everyone who will pay attention how terrible it is to deal with that will company.
Listen and learn what to avoid and what to add based on your responses to how you are treated. Your customers will either rave about you or complain based on how they feel after calling your customer service amount. Which one do you want it to be?