Have you noticed the numerous ways companies have renamed their customer service department? Below are just a few:
- Service Rockstar
- Client Support
- Happy Customer Consultants
- Answer Desk
- Inspired Service Team
The reason for companies to change the name of the Customer Service Department is easy to understand. Having to call customer service is right up there with going to the dentist. I myself rarely use the term customer service without inserting quotes and sarcasm. However, what if instead of changing the name of the department they actually changed the service? Novel idea don’t you think? No matter what they’ve renamed it I have yet to hear anyone say, “I had the most amazing call with the Service Rockstar at company XYZ”.
I don’t believe it is that companies don’t care. If they didn’t they wouldn’t go through the process of changing what they want you to refer to it as. The issue is that companies truly believe they have created a product/service that doesn’t require the need for customer service beyond the initial sale. A great deal of thought and planning has gone into anticipating every need that you may have before you have it.
So why does this not work? They aren’t preparing themselves for the human factor. The human factor says that we will have bad days, lack sleep, be frustrated, and experience technical difficulties. Let me assure you by the time someone picks up the phone to call Customer Service they are already frustrated and most likely angry. Heaven help the service representative that starts with “Have you tried turning your device on and off yet?” Then how is a Customer Service Manager supposed to train a team that actually provides a service?
This is how:
- Get rid of the script! Scripts are for sales. Not service. You’re only going to further frustrate the client by having employees read from a script. It tells us that you aren’t listening to a thing we’re saying and no matter what we say your response is going to be the same. Instead make a list of things NOT to say. Some words trigger negative attitudes. Even if the answer is “no” there is a better way to state it. It doesn’t have to be the first thing out of your mouth. Try something like, “We don’t have that capability. We do offer XYZ instead. Do you have time for me to explain how that would benefit you?”
- Don’t transfer calls. If you have a system that requires calls to be transferred your system is broken. In doing this you have opened the floodgates to dropped calls, customers having to repeat their problems yet again, and longer wait times. With each transfer you’ve taken customer frustration to the next level. If you haven’t trained your people to handle any issue that someone can call in for you haven’t trained them at all.
- Empower your employees to make decisions . You can either give your employees power to do the right thing or you can take calls all day long for those of us who wait to speak to the manager. You’ve got to be tired of taking those calls.
- Hire people who genuinely care! Forget telling people “treat people how you would want to be treated” or “treat people like you would your grandmother”. That spectrum is too broad. If you hire people who have a desire to truly help others it shows. They’ll be able to better see past the angry person on the other end and see the person that would just like something to go their way today. Above and beyond that, the representative will want to be the person that can help them.
- Follow up! What shows you care more than following up within the week to make sure the customer is still as satisfied as they were when the phone call ended? Service not price is what creates loyal customers. We live in a world where anything can go viral. Do we really need to talk about that dress again? Every customer experience has the opportunity to go viral. Make every experience one that will help you not hurt you!
We live in a world where anything can go viral. Do we really need to talk about that dress again? Every customer experience has the opportunity to go viral. Make every experience one that will help you not hurt you!
Melissa Smith is the owner of The Personal Virtual Assistant. Her business is built on establishing what the best needs of her clients are, creating a personal loyalty system for her customers/clients, and providing an invaluable service for them by freeing up their time so they can do what they love to do not what they have to do. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.