Each of these has happened to me, and they have all resulted in me taking my business elsewhere. What about you, what key customer service points are you looking for from businesses? Which ones are you delivering?
1) ”If you had contacted me earlier I could have taken care of this for you but now you will have to wait “
Bottom line, you want clients to feel good about doing business with you, even if they have to be delayed. Most of us don’t mind a wait when we are treated kindly, fairly and with respect. Instead of admonishing customers say something like, ’we’re working hard to get this done as quickly as possible ‘ or ‘you have my word that we will do what we can to make this work’ – now, no matter that the circumstances I feel good about doing business with you even with the delay. If you admonish your clients in a childish manner they will feel bad – feeling bad means lost business.
2) “See how poorly ‘insert competitor here’ does that job? Obviously we are the better choice”
If you have to resort to name-calling or put-downs to elevate your case, you’ve lost me. If your product, service, customer experience and follow up can’t WOW me on its own merit you need to put your energy into fixing your product or service and creating a better customer experience rather than into putting down your competitors.
3) “We understand your time is valuable and appreciate your patience” …..while you wait 10+ minutes for a customer service rep….
This one drives me crazy especially when it happens every time you call. If you truly understood how valuable my time was you would hire more customer service reps and not make me wait at all, or you would credit my account for each minute waited. Attempting to placate me with meaningless platitudes only proves to me how out of touch you are with your customer. What it doesn’t do is make me enjoy the wait, or justify it, regardless of how surprised you might be with the ” higher than average call volumes.”
Customer service is the one area that can instantly level the playing field regardless of company size or resources. One very satisfied customer with a Twitter account can beef up your bottom line in minutes. You dont even need a superior product if you get the customer experience right. So take a moment to audit yours. Pretend you’re a customer or better yet, get someone to walk through the experience of your company from every customer touchpont and see where you might be able to enhance the system. Sometimes all it takes is a second to turn a so-so experience into a WOW one.