Good customer service should be the foundation of a successful and well-respected business – but so many big companies today get away with paying lip service to their customers and never living up to their promises. The Economist recently reported that some firms are spending a lot of money appointing chief customer officers (CCOs) to help improve the customer experience, but is this the wrong way to approach the issue?
The fundamental problem is that many companies have forgotten what good service looks like. Too often the most important point of contact, the customer service number, is buried among the company’s web pages.
If the customer is lucky enough to find a contact number, they must then navigate complicated phone options before being put on hold, transferred to an offshore call centre, then passed from pillar to post before finally reaching the right person – or worse, a machine. Anyone who has ever spoken to an automated telephone system knows they don’t provide the best customer experience.
Sound familiar? Try calling your phone, utilities or credit card provider. It’s unlikely you’ll get through to a real person straight away. Is this really the experience you want to provide for your own customers?
If you want your customers to know you have great service, then prove it with some real measurable actions that impact customer satisfaction. Great customer service is a combination of quick response times (ie. email responses and minimal phone hold queue times), high first call resolution rate (no need to transfer or call back) and a welcoming, approachable service team that communicates and follows up on promises.
Providing great customer service is a simple discipline which can make all the difference to the success of your small business – it’s time to stop throwing money and words at the problem, and start paying attention to it instead.