Let’s face it- calling a business when we have an issue to resolve isn’t always a process we look forward to, even if we do get to choose our own hold music. Nothing is guaranteed to raise your blood pressure quicker than hearing ‘Your average wait time is 25 minutes. Your call is very important to us!’ Is it? Is it really? Does it have to be like this? What if your customer service experience could be a good one? Certain businesses are known for their excellent customer service. They take these main points into account:
- They have a phone number where customers can reach a live person. Have you seen the commercial where callers are shocked that they’ve been put in touch with a real person? No one wants to look up a company’s contact info and not find a phone number. Something even worse than that is if a customer does find a number, only to have it lead to an automated answering service or a never-checked voicemail. We once had a startup company tell us that they didn’t have a phone number to ‘keep costs down.’ Even in a world of continually increasing reliance on email, instant messaging, and online support, not having a phone number doesn’t make you edgy, in fact, it can be off-putting.
- They are open to the issues that you’re having. Customer feedback that’s met with resistance is never going to have a happy resolution. No one wants a negative experience. But if your customer has had a negative experience, denying responsibility or asking too many questions is not going to improve things, it makes it look like you’re trying to get out of helping. Do gather the information that you need and reassure your customer that you’re going to fix the issue for them.
- They follow through. If you say you’re going to call a customer back or put them in touch with a colleague, make sure that that happens in an acceptable amount of time. See your customer through this process- your responsibility to that individual doesn’t end once you’ve hung up the phone or even once you’ve transferred the call. If possible, check back in with a customer after the fact in order to ensure that their situation has been handled appropriately.
- They are willing to help. Make things as easy and painless as possible for your customer. Go above and beyond to solve their problem. Offer compensation or an alternative solution for a negative experience. Prove to them that you are personally invested in their situation.
These are just some of the ways that a business can build a reputation for great customer service. What does your business do to help customers? What is a great experience you had trying to resolve an issue? Let us know in the comments!