Customer Service Nightmares Part 1
Sterling Jackson - April 23, 2012
Why do so many businesses not get customer relationship management?
As a consultant it baffles me and as a consumer it makes me want to scream...
I spoke with a woman this afternoon who was given our number by a company she had been trying to resolve a problem with. They had transferred her over and over to different departments and nobody had bothered to help her...
Finally, they transferred her to a wrong number (our company.) She was understandably frustrated by their lack of effective customer relationship management or effective problem solving.
The situation it left me thinking ... what's the point of having these people working for you if they can't fix one customer problem?
Have you ever had a similar situation?
As a consumer: I expect you to provide competent service and not waste my time. Don't make me wait for 30 minutes, I have things to do. Just solve the problem.
As a consultant: Your business has some serious problems that are damaging your reputation and costing you customers. These issues should be a priority.
As a business owner: This is unacceptable and hurting my business and income. I need to be able to identify these problems and see exactly where things are going wrong.
If you don't have customers, you're not in business...
That's about as simple as it gets. Consider how these facts relate to your business:
- Getting new customers is more difficult/expensive than keeping existing ones.
- Customers won't always give you a chance to salvage the relationship.
- Far more customers will share a negative experience than a positive one.
So what's the problem? Effective customer relationship management isn't brain surgery. There are tons of businesses out there who would love to have your customers. They're already marketing to them and trying to steal them away, so why make it easier for them?
In my experience working for a CRM/ERP company, better customer service is really the fundamental concept. CRM gives you more insight into your customers and ERP helps you manage your time and resources better so you can focus on your customers and services.
Want an easy formula to fix this mess?
1. Give me a way to get in touch with you directly in case we get disconnected.
2. Open my account and create a customer support ticket or log.
3. Create detailed notes about my situation and what we've discussed.
4. If you can't help, transfer me once to someone who legitimately can and will help me.
5. At this point the problem should be solved, or I know what needs to be done to solve it. Pretty simple.
One last thought...
If I'm your customer, don't waste my time. There isn't much you can do to infuriate me more than wasting my time. I'm sure that some people are more forgiving of this, but when I'm trying to solve a problem I'm already frustrated and just want to get on with my day.
Implement strategies and software that help you take care of your customers.
The results are worth it.
(And I won't want to throw my phone at you, which will be a bit of a problem when I start calling your competitors if you don't bother to fix your broken customer service.)