Can you remember the last time you experienced great customer service? I’m not talking about adequate service. I’m talking about an experience that still brings a smile to your face every time you think about it.
If your list of great customer service experiences won’t even fill up a page, then you are not alone. Most of us are hard pressed to recall a time when we felt such joy. Yet companies continue to operate in a “business as usual” manner. They believe customers will continue to hand over their hard-earned cash regardless of service. In some cases, they are right; in other circumstances these companies are in for a big surprise.
The headlines keep touting the fact that we are in full recovery, although many people are still struggling to get by. Long-term customers are becoming choosier and are no longer willing to accept mediocre levels of service.
Examples of horrific service
In the last several weeks, I have personally experienced some terrible service; so much so that I felt compelled to blog about it. And yes, in case you are wondering, I am still waiting for Ben to call me. In the meantime, I am making sure that I spend my hotel dollars on a brand that consistently demonstrates that I matter.
Who here doesn’t have a story to share about their cable provider? Last week, I spent almost an entire morning going around in circles with Comcast’s “customer service” team in India. Twitter to the rescue! I sent a shout-out to Frank@comcastcares (yes, he really does exist) and received an immediate reply from Will, who must be Frank’s cousin or something. A few more tumbles through the fields of customer service, and then I finally received a call from a VP who quickly resolved the matter.
Comcast must have spent at least $820 to remove a fee of $8.20 from my bill. In the end, my wish was granted. However, I’m unable to recommend that people switch to this service. How much is your company spending to tick off your customers?
Ditching the rules and managing the exceptions
Somewhere along the line, some executive thought rules would provide consistent levels of service to everyone. Aha! That’s exactly the problem. People who pay their bills on time and miss a payment because they are on vacation or never received the bill are treated the same as those who intentionally choose to not pay their bills. Long-term customers no longer receive preferential pricing because someone thought it was a good idea to give the best deals to new customers.
However, no one bothered to ask the customer what he or she thought about all of this. And if they did, the results of those surveys are most likely sitting in a big fat binder on someone’s desk in the corporate office.
When I work with my clients, we work backwards to achieve the results they wish to create. Figure out what you want your customers to be saying about your business, and then work backwards to determine exactly what you must do to achieve stellar results.
Hiring for attitude
Customer service isn’t about rules, but an attitude that creates a joyousexperience across all interactions with customers. Here’s what I mean by this:
Roberta Matuson’s Business Growth and
Surely you can now see why hiring should be job one in any company. Somebody, somewhere along the line in your organization, is coming up with these rules that are having a detrimental impact on your company’s brand. Find that person and fire them.
In my new book, Talent Magnetism, which is being released this month, I provide readers with a never before seen look inside of some of the world’s best known companies, and a few you’ve never heard of who deliver high levels of customer service because they take the time to hire the right people. In one particular business, anyone can put the brakes on hiring a candidate, and can do so without having to provide a day’s worth of documentation to support their decision. They simply say, “Let’s take a pass,” and the search continues. It should come as no surprise that this company has very little turnover and that they have a line of candidates waiting to work for them. That’s because of their reputation.
Top talent wants to work for top companies. If you don’t believe me, then explain to me why companies like this organization have people lining up to work for them while the company next door struggles to find great people, or any people for that matter.
If you are interested in working towards achieving dramatic growth and market leadership, then focus on creating exceptional levels of service. If this idea doesn’t excite you or the leaders in your company, then be prepared to look for a new job next year. The demise of your business is right around the corner.
Call us today at 413-582-1840 to discuss how we can help you create a joyous customer experience that will lead to outrageous levels of profitability.
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