If this happened to you as a customer, how would you feel?
Our washer has a problem. Service person came out and ordered a part for it. Part should be here in two weeks and made the next appointment. The day before the appointment, I get an automated call. If my issue was a service call, I was asked to press #1. I did. I was then put on hold for the next available representative. Remember, they called me. Is this service?
And the story continues. I then get a text asking me to call in. I do and get someone right away. She asks about my issue. She puts me on hold and checks their database. The part is back-ordered and I should contact them to reschedule when the part arrives. That could have been done and put into the text. Is this service?
After these two contacts, I received three more calls and texts asking me to call in. Is this service?
So let me move to another situation on the same day. I had some medical tests done. The doctor who ordered them had a family emergency. My appointment to hear the results is cancelled. She, however, won’t be back until mid-August. The office staff said they would have my primary doctor order something because I qualified. But I have no idea what the test said. Is this service?
The last one is especially a challenge. What would you do if you have an emergency and your clients had to wait? I know one service person who, in a small town there there were only two of them, connected with his competitor to cover his clients in certain situations. Would you do that?
I am sure all of you have had similar issues. Service is sometimes hard to define but we certainly “know it when we see it.” Know ask yourself as a business owner, how might you have handled the situations above? In hind-sight it is easy to come up with a plan but are you ready to respond on the spot? And is your staff prepared as well? Do they have the authority to take a bold action?
Just something to ponder as you think about your service efforts.
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Eric Hsu says
Wow. Those are pretty awful examples of poor customer service. I’ve noticed that the quality of customer service has declined as things have been automated. That’s sad because it can be the opposite. In addition to empowering your staff to act in your absence (as you reference), using automated tools on your website and social media to allow customers to stay in touch with you are very key in my opinion. For example, answering Facebook messenger when people contact, providing a contact link in Google My Business, having a bot on your website (that can actually be responded to by a live person). I’m surprised by the number of businesses with a social profile who never respond to messages you send to them. I think responding to messages/comments etc is a key to small businesses in rural areas not just surviving, but thriving. Great post and discussion topic!