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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Kelly's Korner - Customer Service Revisited

Hey, All!

When I was on vacation, I posted some points to ponder on customer service. Did you think about it?

My personal philosophy on customer service is to treat the person on the other end of the line as I would like to be treated when I call a company for assistance. 

I get so frustrated when I call someone for help and they give an "I don't know" or "I can't help you" and leave me nowhere to turn. That is why I've developed my Superhero Book, a list of companies, their phone numbers and websites to send people when we don't handle that brand, and I don't hesitate to jump on Google to try to find an answer. Believe me, while this may not help you and your company right then, the person who called will remember how helpful you were and call back when you can help them. This helps to build customer loyalty, repeat business and trust. And they will recommended you to their friends.

Sometimes I feel like I should earn an Academy Award for professionalism, but no matter what kind of mood I'm in or how my day has gone, I still try to maintain a pleasant and helpful attitude.  I try to go at least one step (if not more) beyond than what the caller is asking for. I try to make that person and their issue my number one priorty (while juggling at least a half dozen more things).  And I do my best to follow through with their issue, if needed.

Years ago, I used to be management for a couple of different fast food joints and took it as part of my job to train the teenagers who worked for me the delicacies of customer relations.  They were amazed on how I could remain calm when someone was screaming about how they specifically ordered no pickles on their burger, but got them anyway, as they were throwing said burger across the counter.  I told them it could be a number of things that made this customer so angry - alarm didn't go off, late for work and got written up, came out to go to lunch and they had a flat tire, then the straw that broke their back was getting something on their burger they specifically said they didn't want.  What if they were allergic and could have had a major reaction that put them in the hospital?  Yelling back at this person is not going to solve anything and would more than likely make it worse.  It was our fault and so it was mandatory to make it right.  Some people will be belligerent just to see how much they can get away with but the majority just want what they asked for, or a mistake to be acknowledged and rectified, or someone that cares about them that will listen and give them some kind of assistance.

And isn't that what we all want when we call someone for help?  Empathy and understanding?  A sincere attempt at righting a wrong?  Accountability?  Customer service is often a thankless job, but just having one person that you've helped give you a sincere thank you can make your whole day (thanks, Mike!).  And when I am given excellent service not only do I thank that person, but try to go to their supervisor and let them know that person really deserves an atta boy (or girl!)

Have a great week!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I have been working in customer experience management for many years and it really is all about how you say things to customers. There is a huge difference between saying "sorry we can do that" and "I know how you feel, tell me exactly what happened". Diffusing the situation seems to be a lost art in today's customer service industry.


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