Customer Service – The Lost and Dying Art – Part III
Customer service and satisfaction definitely seems to be waning in this day and age of brick and mortar businesses merging onto the web. As more and more companies cut back their customer service departments in lieu of automated software and voice prompts; those ticketing system of us that had come to rely on human beings for support are now lucky to find a live voice, let alone a prompt response. In many cases we find ourselves searching to find the correct email address that is related to our issue or question.
Case studies are often glossed over but I hope you will read on as I conclude this three part series about how customer service seems to be. In the last article we left off with Company A and my tech glitch situation.
During the same day that I was dealing with Company A, I also had issues with another software application provided by Company B. As I stated before this seemed to be one of those tech glitch days that happen every so often. Anyways, I sent in a support ticket to their award-winning customer service and it took them over eight hours to finally respond and wouldn’t you know it, the customer service agent included a return phone number. Now I’m not sure who issued the award to this firm, but it was certainly not award-winning. Had they initially offered phone service I could have had an answer in a matter of minutes and my project would have been completed.
This company was just slow to respond and didn’t offer telephone support. Hence this experience has now put a damper on my doing further business with them.
Now we get down to what you can do about offering what I call high level customer service:
Step One – Add phone support if you don’t already have it setup. This will help to facilitate and eliminate many issues before they reach the escalation level where the prospect or client has to be turned over to a supervisor.
Step Two – Have live personnel available during certain hours of the day and evening. This is especially important for those of you that utilize support ticket software and outsource the actual work. Live human beings can make a huge difference and possible save the sale and/or client in many cases.
Step Three – Respond immediately or as soon as possible. This shows your prospect or client that you are on top of your game and have professional customer service that is responsive and not sluggish.
Step Four – Consider using chat and email support and continually test it to make sure that it works. In my case above, the supervisor who was supposed to contact me via email either did and I didn’t receive it or they dropped the ball and never sent it.
In the end, make it right with your customer. This might not always seem like the right thing to do but it will pay dividends, especially if you are a small business looking to expand and grow.