Your customers should not have to beg for service. And they shouldn't have to ask for a supervisor or God forbid, for the supervisor’s boss to get a problem resolved. Hey Comcast are you listening? You're not, well neither are many other big companies.
Delivering superior service, stated as a goal by companies everywhere, starts after you’ve successfully delivered the basic service– giving the customer a fast and equitable resolution to their problem. When customers must beg for fairness by talking to layers of people before they get a satisfactory answer, you will never get to superior service. You’re stuck at lousy service. So what do you do:
Hire the right people for customer service. They need to speak with enthusiasm; act like they give a damn and they need to remember what it’s like to be a customer. Personality test your CSR candidates to be sure they posses the appropriate personality and temperament before you risk your most important asset – your customers.
Hit them when they say “It’s not our policy”. Ok, maybe you can’t lay a hand on them but how about a tazser? I’m serious – that one little phrase will send a customer through the ceiling. It may be your policy but, gee, maybe the policy is wrong or maybe, just maybe in this instance ignoring the policy is best for business. Policies should be guidelines not hammers used to beat up customers.
Give your front line service staff REAL authority to resolve 99% of the problems they receive. Customer service reps hate it when a customer says, “I want to speak to a supervisor”. And why do customers jump to that request, because experience has taught them that the person who answers the phone can’t or won’t resolve their issue.
Train your CSR’s in the basics of “service speak”. I am astounded daily, by how many service reps forget to use phrases like: “I’m sorry you’ve had this problem” or “I can understand how you must feel” or the one I want to hear – “I promise that together we will resolve your problem. I really want to help”.
It took me three phone calls, 72 minutes and three layers of supervisors before Comcast would deduct a charge that was not legitimate. No, the technician didn’t fix the storm damage on Nov 6th – the repair guy came on Nov 8th. NO, he didn’t come inside and install a splitter. Despite my corrections, all I heard over and over was: “we’ll have to investigate” which I hear as “we believe you are lying and what our guy says goes”. But the most frightening thing I heard was, “if I take that off your bill, I will be fired. Do you want me to lose my job? They don’t want us to take things off a bill”. So now you know, its policy at Comcast never to remove a charge if your version differs from their technician’s. Don’t ask – don’t tell takes on a whole new meaning.
You may not be in the consumer business but your customers are consumers at other companies and the level of service they receive from the “other guy” will color their assessment of your service. So, be on your best behavior. Prepare your service reps to be the exception – prepare them to deliver really great service not just merely answer the phone. And give your service staff the authority and the knowledge they need to solve 99% of your customer’s service requests.
Give your team the skills they need to establish and keep happy, loyal customers for life! Give them the gift of Catalytic Management customer service training. Call us at 978-562-5001 to learn more about our customized customer service training and consulting .
Kudos to the MBTA!
As surprising as it seems, I experienced terrific service from an MBTA employee at the Copley Station as I tried to buy a Charlie Card. She jumped right in and walked me through the process. My only regret is that I didn't get her name - but many thanks to the Unknown Service Heroine of the MBTA!
Service Award to the
While playing tourist in Boston, we stayed at the Lennox Hotel. Service was superb from the Valet to the Front Desk to the Chamber Maid. Happy, helpful people everywhere. They must have heard me talk about "positive suprises" in creating a great customer experience - the bottle of wine on the table upon our return from dinner cemented our terrific experience!