We all have foibles when it comes to good service. Loud background music in your favourite restaurant – no thanks. Unsuitable substitutes in an online shop or a sell-by date less than 24 hours after it arrives. To me, these are like sour milk in my tea. A complete turn off, which could turn me to the Oat-side.
So when customer service works, it is worth shouting about. I was introduced to my online coffee service thanks to a well thought Christmas gift. I get to control the flavour, quantity and timing of my order, pushing the date forward when my caffeine intake peaks, and dropping off when I am out of the office. And the tell-tale sign that it works – in 3 years I have only made two calls to their helpline. At the time, I dialled with trepidation – would they keep me holding with feel good pop; would I discover I am ‘caller 100’; would i be re-directed to multiple departments. I was not ready for this relationship to spoil.
While the initial answer did not fix my problem, this is a story with a happy ending. I called back minutes later and the operator was immediately up to speed, apologised and explained that ‘back-end’ website problems were being fixed. She walked me through the steps to access my online account and in less than five minutes, had fully justified my consumer faith.
For me the best customer service is light touch and infrequent, but whatever your preference, it is critical to business reputation. As the first point of contact in person, over the phone or online, customer service, can make or break a brand. Did the interaction allay a concern, clarify a confusion or leave you fuming? Organisations must invest in front line customer interaction, to ensure teams are ready, willing and able to respond.
Mangold Consultancy’s bespoke customer service training can uncover discrete but specific issues which may otherwise go undetected. Businesses can then adapt and refresh their approach accordingly. There is no accounting for every customer foible. But having a confident and informed customer service response will go a long way toward protecting your most valued relationships.