Has your company adapted the wrong way?
Have you allowed your Customer Representatives to forget who pays their salaries? In this day of instant sharing of information, your company cannot afford to forget just who uses their service or product – it can be very dangerous for the health of any company, particularly for those who are publicly traded.
But no matter the size of your business – customers are what keep you alive and thriving.
Ignore the customer at your peril!
Rules when dealing with your customers should be more “guidelines” than Constitutional Amendments passed by Congress that have to go in front of the Supreme Court to get different outcomes.
This lack of empathy for the customer was brought home to me quite recently.
I was dealing with some business when I overheard a young man appealing to a large self-move company (it begins with the letter “B”). This young man was moving his family out of state to accept a new position. Just as he was preparing to leave, he checked the turn signals and brake lights and realized they were not working.
He called road side assistance and a representative came out but didn’t have the part. A representative from the company called and said it would be delivered by 8:00AM the following morning or a replacement truck with two helpers would be provided.
As I listened to this young man talking to the representative, he was repeating back the conversation so that his wife could get the gist of it. The company decided that they would not repair the truck until Monday morning (it was now Sunday) and under no circumstances would they send a replacement truck.
I watched as the young man made a total of 10 phone calls, asking for managers, supervisors, anyone he could get to answer the phone. He asked for mercy, explaining they had a 4 month-old baby, a freezer full of food on the truck and he had to get to his new job by Monday.
When he hung up the phone, his shoulders sagged and he told his wife no one would help him. The self-moving company had his money and they refused to change their policy even though he begged for some consideration. It was Monday, period, end of discussion.
This is the experience you want your customer to have?
After hearing this, I went on the internet and saw the number of complaints registered with Consumer Affairs in just the last 90 days – almost four hundred – and that’s just the ones who took the time to write in their complaints.
It’s said in the customer service world that one dissatisfied customer tells at least 35 other people.
Well, that was before social media.
Now it’s more in the thousands. Can your business stand that kind of backlash? I wasn’t even the one involved and I’ve told this story to several people.
Take the time to review your Customer Service procedures. Are they there for your benefit?
Then don’t call it “Customer” Service, call it “Self-Service”, because that’s what it actually is. Your Customer Service Representatives are the front-line in your business. They will either open the doors for future business or they will close them permanently.
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