Three words that are simple and to the point. It’s also a profound compliment any organization would love to receive from a client. This is one of thousands of accolades that Zappos shoes receives from its clients. They love Zappos because they speak to real people in their call center who are genuinely enthusiastic about their job and helping clients. Zappos is not alone in receiving this type of client feedback. Freshbooks and BOSE are also great examples.
This is refreshing in a marketplace that feels overrun by negative customer service stories around the service provided through call centers. I have found myself having to mentally prepare myself for what I anticipated would be an adversarial conversation with a company I purchase services from. My experience with them is the opposite of the client-focused conversations described above. The conversation was as bad as I anticipated. It was my fault, apparently, that I wasn’t getting the level of service I needed. They let me know that I needed to purchase a premium package to get good service. They wrapped up the call by asking me the standard questions. Was I able to address your concern today? Is there anything else I can help you with? Would you like to complete a survey on the service you received today? No thanks, I really need to get off the phone, get a drink and remind myself that I am a valuable human being.
I was helping a company resolve its top client complaints. The top complaint from clients was that staff were not returning phone calls. Yes, this is pretty bad. Clients, in some cases, were calling to purchase a product/service and no one would call them back. After doing some investigation, we uncovered the number one complaint of the frontline staff. Head office and other departments didn’t return THEIR calls. There was a pervasive culture of unresponsiveness which needed to be addressed before the client experience could be improved.
The secret to how you achieve great customer service is simple yet many companies find it difficult.
- Hire the right people – motivated people who truly enjoy helping others provide the best client service. Take the time to get the right person in a role, not just a warm body.
- Provide tools to support – I have seen this done using fancy CRM technology and I’ve seen it done using handwritten notes and client charts with key information
- Consistent behaviour inside and out – people within the organization should be treated with the same respect and care a company wants for its clients– walk the talk.