Customer service doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow this easy example to keep your customers happy and eager to send you more referrals!
The best place to start when looking to rock your customer service, is by remembering what it’s like to be a consumer yourself.
Ah, buying stuff. It really does give you perspective on customer service.
As a consumer of things, when something goes wrong with my mail order purchase, my stomach drops through my bowels, my head starts pounding and my chest fills with dread.
You know what it’s like, right? You have to pick up a phone and brace yourself for a roller-coaster ride through high-tech hell. You get greeted with recordings, dopey music, and a 2-hour wait before getting disconnected and having to call again.
Once you actually get through to a real breathing person, you end up with a brand new intern who’s got an accent so gooey-thick that Elmer’s would love to patent it. And to top it off with a pretty little cherry, you get a Twilight Zone low-volume connection.
You already know how it’s going to end before it starts. Yeah that’s right, you spending more money, getting even less than you had when you started and your dog enrolled in ballet classes.
Or even worse, you get argued with, yelled at, cussed out, or treated like a drooling Neanderthal.
Yep, no wonder some of us have total phone call stress-o-mania.
You gotta wonder, “How do these companies manage to stay in business?”
It’s not like we HAVE to do business with them, unless they are lucky enough to have a monopoly (such as a certain cable company I detest) or the power company who just can’t help that they are the all-powerful powers that be.
What kind of business strategy is “We stand high because we stand on our customers?”
So yeah, when I have to call any company with a problem, my pits get all sweaty and I have to drink a large pot of chamomile tea.
Today I got to call a company about a minor issue that was mostly my fault. I got to wear one of my nicer shirts. Why? Because they have a pretty good track record and I knew that even if they couldn’t magic all my problems away, they would at least LISTEN to me and see what they could do.
Basically, I needed to cancel an order and change it to a new order. Worst case scenario: I would have to return it to the post office and be out a few dollars shipping. No biggie for me, but I thought I would try to get it changed before it actually shipped and save myself a later hassle with Christmas coming and all.
Here is a summary of what happened.
I politely asked what could be done and if I could cancel, and a gal called Cindy at the other end told me it was already processing and on the loading dock. Then, she did something amazing. She OFFERED to see if she could stop the shipment on the loading dock! As in get up, walk a good distance, and hassle some busy co-workers to check.
Apparently it was too late, but do you know what Cindy did next?
Having already discussed it with her boss, she OFFERED to re-route it back to the company. AND, they normally can’t refund the shipping on this. But, since it was a back order and I was inconvenienced (her words not mine), she OFFERED to refund the shipping, too.
BAM! Did you spot the trick to ROCK your customer service?
Cindy turned a potentially icky stresstastic situation into an amazing experience for me, just by being nice and doing what she could for me!
And, you know what else? This company and their employees don’t treat me like that just because I happen to be one of their wellness advocates with a leadership rank. I have personally witnessed this company do that type of stuff and much more for brand new customers too! Every single time I call them, THEY ROCK THEIR CUSTOMER SERVICE, and that’s why I love to buy from them.
Now, I am sure there are some cases with this company where a few people may incapable of being pleased, because no company is Harry Potter, right?
Remember the Pepsi commercial where Pepsi got sued for not giving some cranky-pants his fighter jet when he collected enough points?
It. Was. A. Joke. Dude.
We all got the joke, but apparently he didn’t. Nobody expected to win a fighter jet. I am pretty sure it is illegal for a civilian to even own one anyway. So what did he do? He threw a temper tantrum and demanded his jet.
So, while we may not be able to make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time, we have learned that great customer service can be one of the best tools to grow a business, and it’s usually pretty cheap to provide it. Cindy took a 5 minute walk and saved me $5.
Be concerned for your customer and show them some effort.
Easy, cheap, effective.
And the truth is this. If Cindy ended up not being able to fix any of it, I would have been just fine being out a few dollars and a little inconvenienced. Why?
What it really comes down to is this. It was not the money, but HOW I WAS TREATED that made all the difference and that is FREE. This works for small businesses and large businesses alike! If you can make your customer feel important and awesome, you are 10 steps ahead in your business already. So if you want to clean up and beat your competition, just refrain from being a lazy butthead.
Customers take notice and remember how you make them feel. Genuine concern and effort go a long way. That is how you get repeat business and referrals!
It works for big and small businesses alike.
For example, when I worked at a small kiosk in the mall selling hand personalized ornaments, I would always get people asking for specific types of ornaments. Even though I was sure I did not have what they were looking for, I got up and looked again. That may seem like a waste of energy, but it made them 10X more satisfied. Double checking for them made them happy! Besides, I’m not perfect and maybe I missed something earlier.
It may not be rocket-science, but that is one simple trick you can use to rock your customer service!
Related posts: Boundaries in Business: Why You Need to Draw the Line
Disclaimer: Jaimie is not the great and powerful Wizard of Oz, a lawyer, a doctor, a veterinarian, or a CPA. Nothing your read in my blog is a substitute for professional advice and doing your own good research. Remember that just because someone has credentials doesn’t guarantee their advice is golden or perfect. Put your smart hat on and do your due diligence. Good luck!