Not Again – How hard is it?

Today, I just need to vent. If you are someone who believes in bad Customer Service STOP reading now! Go do something more exciting. But if you’re like me and most people, you  believe that Customer Service is important—follow along and share your experience in the comments.

I will start out with the  Wikipedia, definition of Customer Service:

Customer Service is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. The perception of success of such interactions is dependent on employees “who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest”. Customer service concerns the priority an organization assigns to customer service relative to components such as product innovation and pricing. In this sense, an organization that values good customer service may spend more money in training employees than the average organization or may proactively interview customers for feedback.

From the point of view of an overall sales process engineering effort, customer service plays an important role in an organization’s ability to generate income and revenue. From that perspective, customer service should be included as part of an overall approach to systematic improvement. One good customer service experience can change the entire perception a customer holds towards the organization.”

I will stop right here and add my two cents worth.

Good Customer Service = When I get an answer, a follow up, or something promised in the time period expected.

Excellent Customer Service = When I get my answer, the expected follow up, and the person on the other end asks me a question about it that requires me to respond back in some way. I don’t expect perfect solutions; I just expect to be treated like a valued customer.

Bad Customer Service = When the person is supposed to get back to me and I never hear from them, causing me to do the follow up and chase the person down for answers.

Maybe it’s just me, but here’s my take on Customer Service; it starts in every business as an internal process. I find myself giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. That’s great; however, when I leave an email or a voicemail for someone within my organization and I do not get a reply, it sets me off. Then when I ask my colleague why I received no response, I get that same excuse—he was too busy or he had it on his to do list but forgot, the excuses go on and on. Just think—if they treat coworkers like this, how do you think they treat actual customers? Exactly the same way, no wonder customers look elsewhere!

Now let me state that this is not a one-off, it has become the norm! In my business we had a simple policy; before you depart each day you must respond to your clients, coworkers, anyone that has left a message via telephone or email. It can be as simple as a quick update or an actual answer. How hard is it?

Let me take this one step further. How many of you reading this post today have checked your email a dozen times, checked in on Facebook, Linkedin, etc?. I bet you have done these things, but you’re too busy to give the simple courtesy of a return message.

I want to throw this in as well—stop and watch the people around you; they are more than likely checking their smart phones, email, voicemail, Facebook, etc. They do this while walking, driving, eating, and they even find time to do this while on the telephone with a customer. Don’t forget—what you observe in the conference room is more of the same. As I walk down the street I find myself having to dodge people because they are so wrapped up in this lifestyle that they endanger the rest of us.  

Please tell me about your observations and what your thoughts are on today’s customer service habits in the comment section.