A study published in the Harvard Business Review asked the question: Why are we trying to delivery spectacular customer service? They surveyed 10,000 businesses and asked about their expectations around deliverables in customer care. The results were rather surprising.
What business people responded with was not the over the top, amazing service experiences. Instead they spoke of having their problems resolved quickly, efficiently, by people who knew what they were doing and had the power to resolve. It was as simple as that. In other words … “just fix my problem!”
Sometimes in striving to stand out from the competition, we forget the basics. We can start by hiring the right people for the job; people who are well suited to dealing with customers, who are patient, methodical and great questioners and listeners.
Next we can give them a methodology and train them in how to quickly and efficiently take the customer through the resolution process. We can give them the product knowledge they need to craft the right questions to get them to the right issue. We can train them in the skills they need to ensure clear, concise communications. Many of the problems frontline people encounter are based in miscommunication. Finally we can empower them with the ability to make a decision for the customer – right or wrong; they have the authority to resolve.
Perhaps what the survey shows is that if you have good, garden-variety common sense customer service, we’ll be differentiating ourselves from our competition. This may be a statement of just how poor customer service is perceived to be right now. Have you got your basics covered?
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