I love the fact that I get to work with companies that are customer driven. They understand the value of customer feedback, and use our Customer Driven Management (CDM) application to put their customers to work coaching and advising staff. As a result, I have the privilege and pleasure of seeing thousands of customer comments every week. I’m starting a new series called “Customers Serve Us” where I share some interesting comments directly from customers. Let me know what you think and feel free to provide additional comments or observations! (Disclaimer: Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent!)
“While he addressed my concern immediately by offering to take 30% off, he acted so fast that he did not give me time to address all my concerns. It would be good to train your employees to ask more questions to fully understand the issue that a customer is trying to explain or express. I had two issues and just felt like not bringing up the second as he immediately started offering me credit. I did not feel interested in sharing my other concern because I didn’t think he really cared. Sure he was being proactive to immediately offer a credit, but I really don’t care about the credit. I care about having a company listen to me…”
Pretty interesting comment. Often times a front line employee is so eager to please a customer, or avoid conflict, that they immediately offer a monetary credit as their first course of action. Sometimes that is necessary, but clearly we see here that “empathy” was the missing element for successfully satisfying this customer. The good news is that CDM delivered this tip directly to the employee, so they are working on sharpening their empathy skills even as you read this. Another interesting note is that their manager/supervisor may have told them this a million times and it wouldn’t have near the credibility as the customer saying it.
Some basic takeaways from this:
1. Customers say things because they want you to hear them.
2. When they say something, acknowledge it. (If you are speaking to them over the phone, a verbal acknowledgment is the only way to accomplish this.)
3. When you acknowledge it – show empathy. (If they say they’re running late, say you’re sorry and that you’ll do your best to make it quick.)
4. The person the customer is speaking with (i.e. the agent) is more valuable than any credit, product, service or message when it comes to building customer loyalty.
That’s all for this one… Although I’m sure there is so much more here we could dive into. I’d love to hear what you think!
Are you Customer Driven? Are your customers working for you to reduce operational costs while improving employee performance?