by Rory Berry on 20/09/12 at 6:05 am
When it comes to digital, Customer Service Excellence is in huge demand. With the instant nature of the world we live in that includes Twitter, Facebook and the like, consumers have a permanent mouthpiece to sprout information and commentary about your business. As the old saying goes, “It takes months to gain a customer and seconds to lose one”.
In order to deal with customers in a structured way, it is best to help to ensure that they have the best possible experience when dealing with you and your brand. If you are on Social Media ensure that it is done properly or not at all. A half monitored stream of Social Media will just create opportunities for people to prove that you do not care.
Virgin Money South Africa had their online banking website go down and two days after their customers mentioned it on Twitter they tweeted that all was up and running. No personalised tweets back to their customers on Twitter. At the same time we compare that to FNB, that had it’s CEO (@MichaelJordaan) tweeting during an outage on a Friday night. It is not hard to see why FNB are winning the hearts and minds of customers.
How then do you monitor a stream 24 hours a day? Its simple, you don’t. If you deliver amazing service on a consistent basis between specific and defined hours. People will be more forgiving. MWEB as an example cuts off support around 10pm at night and opens it up again at 7:30am in the morning. @MWEBGuy is generally pretty quick on the uptake and so many happy customers are prepared to mention his service on Twitter.
It’s high time we start to re-learn as a society that waiting is actually ok. If you are as good as you should be, then your customers will wait for you to be able to respond to them. It does mean that on occasion you will walk into work and have a small storm to deal with. That is the nature of the game unfortunately.
The key to this is communication. The trick with communication is that it is more than just speaking, you need to listen. When you actually listen to what your customers are telling you and respond to them in a positive way they will be more likely to return. Many people are more likely to go back to the place with the better service if there are two restaurants that have a similar menu and price range. Why spend all that money trying to entice a customer to deal with you and then waste it by giving then a bad experience.
5 Simple Tips To Better Customer Service:
1) Don’t Lie – It’s such a simple thing to say and yet we do it all the time. If you are not sure of an answer, tell the customer that and then make a commitment to follow up once you have the answer.
2) Listen – Many complaints are not just about the problem right in front of you. If you make yourself available to listen the situation get easier in most cases.
3) Don’t try to talk your way out of it – The blame game is an easy one to play, but having the courage to say “I’m sorry it was our fault” will win you the time to solve the problem in many cases.
4) Actually Solve the Problem – Saying you “will look into it” and actually solving the problem are two very different things.
5) Under promise and Over Deliver – The oldest “trick” in the book, but so often forgotten.
Is your company leaving the best kind of lasting expressions on people?
Based in Cape Town, trained at the University of life and polished on the frontier that is the performing arts, Rory Berry is an entrepreneur with a passion for Customer Service. He is in the process of launching a venture to assist businesses in their customer service efforts. Follow him on Twitter (@rmberry) to be treated to his personal and professional opinions on work, life and keep up to date with his mad quest. View more articles by Rory Berry.