What makes for exceptional customer service?


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Guest Post By: Karnail Jita

Without doubt, the media is overflowing with real life stories of customer’s bad experiences with call centres so let’s put aside for a moment the natural desire to redress the balance for those instances where we’ve suffered at the hands of a customer service agent or indeed have wanted them or someone to do likewise. Think instead about those cases where a phone call or email conversation with the call centre leaves us feeling good, and realising that apart from just a few, they’re not all bad. It could be the result of getting a query resolved on the first call, getting through to an agent with just a couple of key presses on the IVR, or getting a sensible explanation for that unusually high bill. 

Dig deep, we all know what makes good customer service. But what makes exceptional customer service? Perhaps it’s that one time when the agent credits your account in a gesture of goodwill. Or when the agent quickly resolves your broadband problem and gets you on your merry way. Or my own recent experience. I called the call centre at a well known and very reputable department store, renowned for its excellent customer service. The problem was that four items from a recent order had arrived by courier but the fifth had not. Thinking that such a problem was outside of the capability of online FAQ and with much irritation I called the helpline number to find the elusive fifth item.

The phone rang off the hook and I gave up. While musing over the irony of the difference between the customer service in the call centre and the store, the phone rang. It was the department store. 

“We noticed you rang in and we’re sorry we couldn’t get to your call in time, what can we do to help?”

I was floored! From that moment on, I’m a captive and non-churn-able customer. Why? They took the time to realize I’d made the effort to call and they made an even bigger effort to call me back. Unbelievable! The call itself was answered efficiently, however even if it had run into a problem, in my elevated state I would have overlooked it. The missing package arrived promptly, but even if it had not, it probably would not have mattered as my belief in good call centres had been restored.

Therein lies the lesson. Exceptional customer service leaves a lasting impression.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Richard Stern
Richard Stern is Senior Vice President, Global Marketing for Jacada. Richard brings to Jacada more than 15 years of experience in successfully leading global marketing and new business development initiatives. Most recently, Richard served as Senior Vice President, Growth Telecom for SpinVox, a leading global speech technology company that delivers voice-to-text services for telecommunications providers.


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