Customer Service Is Not “If Only I Did…”


Share on LinkedIn

As I look back over the last few months I have been astonished at the breadth of service companies are delivering both at a high level and at a low level. The gap is widening, but customers’ patience for poor service is waning. Companies that do not focus on service execution as a top priority will end up wondering why their market shares fell or doors closed.

Without naming names, I will focus on things I interacted with over the last few months.

Let’s talk about a high point: my cell service.

I recently upgraded my phone as a gift from my family. Everything was fine when I left the store but when I traveled to Puerto Rico, the service did not work. It had never malfunctioned before so I called to see how it could be remedied.

First off, I got to an operator quickly. Yes, really.

Then this operator proceeded to go through all the steps to remedy the situation. She would politely put me on hold when she was not sure of an answer, apologizing that she did not know everything.

When she had to transfer me to another department, she offered to stay on the line until they picked up instead of just pushing me off into the next round of hold music. She filled in the new department so I would not have to repeat everything I told her, which NEVER happens.

Very nicely done.

The next operator was just as pleasant and made sure everything worked before I hung up. He even challenged me politely when I said everything was fine, making me check a few more things just to be sure.

What customer service skills can we take away from this situation?
  • Creating a great business model of commitment to solving a problem, making sure the customer is happy and ultimately making sure the problem is resolved.

Let’s talk about a low point: My insurance company.

I called to find out why a bill for medical procedures was not being taken care of by the insurance company. The bill seemed very high in regards to previous ones for the same service.

The call to this company had me routed five different times through menus and, as always, asked me for information which I had to repeat once I spoke to a live person. One would think in this day of technology we would not have to repeat ourselves.

The operator was very pleasant, looked at my account and said that she identified the problem. She offered to contact the doctor to make sure no bills were generated until they fixed the issue. “Great,” I said, and hung up.

The following month, a similar bill was received and when I called back, the new operator stated that she saw the previous report but nothing was done with it. She in turn said she would make sure it was fixed, but I voiced my lack of faith seeing what the first operator had done.

This new operator assured me she would resolve the issue and promised to call me when she had done so. Guess what happened… No call and another bill has been generated since.

What customer service skills can we take away from this situation?
  • We should train our teams to never promise what they cannot deliver and make sure there are accountability measures in place to track how things are executed.

Never assume that just because you have a product that customers need that you can treat them like a number. Remember that each customer has a voice now that they previously did not. Never assume they will not voice displeasure. More importantly, why not provide such excellence that they voice how great you are?

Wishing you the best in the future.

Republished with author's permission from original post.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here