Chaos and Confusion are some small businesses’ response to customer service. You have probably even talked to some. I did when my cell phone died last year. When I called the customer service number, typed in my cell phone number twice, waited for 10 minutes and finally talked with Ms Chaos. I was told I needed a new phone and this would cost in excess of $150. Never mind that this same company was advertising a free phone to anyone but me. This just didn’t make sense.
I said “Thank you, I’ll think about this” and hung up the phone. I called back and got Ms Confusion who was able to send me a new phone (no charge).
- Was she confused or was I?
- Did this company have a policy?
- Did they have a plan?
- Or maybe chaos and confusion were just the norm and I was lucky on the second call.
Do a check of your business and make sure Ms Chaos and Ms Confusion aren’t answering your phones.
Servicing customers can be a joy, but from time to time complaints happen. That’s why it’s best to have a Customer Service Manual handy. Here are some things to include:
- Basic Customer Service Policies – when are refunds given, what shipping options do you have, who are your key contact people?
- Customer Complaint Procedures – what’s the process for handling a customer problem? Go the extra mile and map out scripted questions and answers and have a complaint form created for customers to complete.
- Observe Clues – Look for cues to when your customer is unhappy. Then take action to head off the complaint before it occurs.
- Key Customer Notes/ Preferences – Treat your key customers like gold. Write down their preferences and how they like to do business. Then apply what you’ve learned.
Customer Service should honor your customers’ intelligence and the very fact they are willing to give you money in exchange for a product or service.
Three cheers for Customer Service that really is a service.