Buy and Get Out!

As entrepreneurs sometimes we get so preoccupied with making sales that we forget to take care of the customer. Sadly enough that seems to be the rule rather than the exception the bigger the company. I had one such experience with the vendor Verizon Wireless chose to insure their devices.  My company moved to Verizon less than a month ago and as a consultant I get paid by the hour, so an hour missed directly affects my bottom line.  The insurer, Assurion, missed some crucial customer service steps and now I am seriously rethinking my switch.  Here’s what we can take away from their missteps:

Don’t fake empathy

We all work, so we get it. Most people are in jobs where they are counting the hours until they can clock out. So don’t make your employees read from a script, we can tell it’s not an actual conversation. The responses are stiff and they very rarely match the situation. When a customer is upset the last thing we want to hear is you reading from a script.  Hear us out, don’t transfer us unnecessarily and try to help.

Stop telling us what you can’t do

The thing that every customer service agent hides behind is company policy. As a former customer service rep myself I know that the supervisor is most likely the person in the next cubicle (I know they are supposed to be recorded but QA seems to have no effect these days). If your hands are really tied try to get us to someone who can make the decision. I was already frustrated and not friendly, that last thing I wanted to do was repeat my story to someone who had no power to affect the outcome.

Know that the experience doesn’t end when the call does

Whether the situation is resolved or not, the person on the other end of the line is going to talk about this incident for a few more days. As a business it works in your favor to meet the customer halfway. If you can’t fix it, at least try to and tell the customer everything you will be doing to help. A little effort goes a long way with an angry customer.

Sometimes it feels like customers are never satisfied, but like everything in life is the thought behind that action that makes the difference. You can create an environment where you staff really wants to help your customers, but you have to be honest about how you’re not helping first. Build up your customers and you will build your business without trying.



Leona Charles

Leona Charles began SPC Business Consulting Ltd in 2007 to help businesses of all sizes get the most out of their performance. As a Six Sigma Black Belt, she brings a fresh and unique approach to Operations Consulting drawing on her 10 years of combined experience in law enforcement, government contracting, property management, customer service, non profit industry, and education.

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