Does Your Service Pass The Friend Test?


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These are genuine friendship bracelets.

Is it just me or do you get uncomfortable when friends and family want to visit your business or call your contact center?  Why is it that when I talk to absolute strangers, there’s no problem, but when my dad calls for customer service, I tighten up?  Perhaps it’s the fact that I don’t want to talk about money with them.  Or perhaps because I know them and see them on a regular basis, there’s extra pressure to be perfect.  I don’t know what it is but I don’t like it.

I recently had a friend sign up for our service and there were several aspects of the sign-up process that did not go well.  I’ll just be honest — if I didn’t have a relationship with this person, he probably would have cancelled.  Ouch!

The good news is that I was able to solve the problems that arose, but felt a little embarrassed in the process.  You see, I wanted our service to be perfect.  I wanted it to be flawless.  I wanted it to be leaps and bounds better than our competition.  While I still think we’re awesome, I will admit that we still have room for improvement.

If you’re reading this post saying “what’s wrong with this guy?  He needs to find some confidence,” you can probably stop reading.  If you find yourself agreeing with me, here are a few reasons the “friend test” is actually a good thing.

1. Friends and Family Hold You Accountable- In my case, I love blogging about customer experience and customer service.  When friends and family have a problem with our service they most certainly won’t call customer service.  They will call me!  I am therefore more apt to get my hands dirty and will see our service through their eyes.  This is a great way to identify areas where we need to improve the experience for our customers.

2. Friends and Family Speak the Truth- My friends and family generally care enough about me that if they have constructive feedback regarding our service, they will most certainly give it.  That is a gift.  The worst possible thing that can happen when a customer has an issue is for them to cancel and never tell you why.

3. Friends and Family Make You Clean Up The Place- When you know your mom is coming over for dinner you will most certainly clean up your house.  Perhaps we should talk to every customer like they are our mom.  Imagine that every customer that encounters your product is your mom or dad.  How does that change how you present yourself?

Since my dad is one of my loyal readers, I’m going to take a moment to be real.  As a customer service professional, one of my least favorite things is when my dad tracks me down in the call center to tell me his email isn’t working.  But hey, if dad has a problem with our service, I’m ten times more likely to fix the issue and make sure it doesn’t happen again.  What do you say we take that approach with every customer?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jeremy Watkin
Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Support and CX at NumberBarn. He has more than 20 years of experience as a contact center professional leading highly engaged customer service teams. Jeremy is frequently recognized as a thought leader for his writing and speaking on a variety of topics including quality management, outsourcing, customer experience, contact center technology, and more. When not working he's spending quality time with his wife Alicia and their three boys, running with his dog, or dreaming of native trout rising for a size 16 elk hair caddis.


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