Every single person has suffered from bad customer service and remembers it well when it is good. But the same person goes into his/her corporate office and forgets his/her own personal experience when it comes to setting up or defining what this should be for their customers. Don’t get me wrong – not all of them are bad but some of them get it SO wrong.
Most enterprises (especially banks and retailers) completely ignore this aspect of their business thereby eschewing real customer value. They focus so much on growth that they miss out on opportunities that would extend that growth further.
As a customer, our suggestions are:
a) Prompt response: One of the most annoying thing is to freely use the word ‘customer service’ and not even answer your phone. No phone (that is dedicated to customer service) should go unanswered. If you have a small team, then set up a voicemail – its not that difficult. AND return those calls as soon as possible. If you have a web site – have someone look at emails. We do a lot of stuff online and yet we (still) find that inquiries sent through web sites are very rarely responded to. If you have a contact us page, then you should have someone respond.
b) History: One of the most annoying things (and all those that deal with banks will identify with this) is having to repeat oneself. Why, if you are really keen on customer service and have a fancy CRM system, can’t the customer facing representative update it with notes after every call? Then the next person will have an updated view of a customer’s profile. Or are we being too simple? Its not rocket science and it means that each customer doesn’t waste precious time going over old ground.
c) Empower: Another thing that is annoying is that very few of the customer facing representatives (and that goes for call centres too) are not empowered (or informed for that matter) to share relevant information regarding products, services, current promotions etc. As customers we don’t care that its the call centre. Its the brand that the centre represents that we care about and that means that any negative connotation actually reflects on the brand.
One piece of advice, just by repeating our name or saying good morning or good day doesn’t make it good customer service. Good overall experience makes it good customer service. Obvious, but it needs to be said.