Sunday, February 1, 2015
Caveat Emptor: Customer Service Response Analyzed
For example, a business may have 500 employees, in everything from manufacturing to research to clerical.
The company may ship world wide.
Yet, if the company has a customer service department, today's expectation is the same principle as yesteryear's expectation: polite and timely response.
This is true whether it is in the internet age of email, or a simple phone call answered.
I find this critical to a business' reputation. A pleasant empathetic voice can make or break a company's reputation. A single, unpleasant or disrespectful secretary can misrepresent 500 dedicated employees. Being a "professional" means putting aside any personal issues and "putting on the work voice" and rising to the occasion of work. It is owed, not only to the employer, but to all the fellow employees, of whom one may represent.
Recently, I had an interesting interaction with a small company. Online reviews praise the store's incredible customer service personal touch.
In my case, it was not the in-store purchase, but mail order, instead. The business is run out of a man's home.
Once the purchase was made, a problem arose in which I emailed the contact early in the morning but did not get a response by late afternoon, so I called and left a voice mail. This was Day One.
Day Two, I did the same thing.
Day Three, again.
Day Four...several emails and another voice mail.
Day Five I received a call back.
The caller apologized and said, "You know, I don't think I got your email. You should know that emails are not always instant."
Please note that this is in the negative, twice. This makes it important.
Note that "think" is a weak assertion, which is in the negative and that the sentence about the emails is in the negative, making it also important.
Many people may question the validity, in context, of emails' speed.
Emails were sent 4 days in a row.
The key is to listen what you are being told. For me, I was listening to his apology about the 4 straight days of no responses. I had decided on Day 5 to no longer contact.
Then he said, "I'm going to be truthful and honest with you. I'm sorry I didn't get back to you earlier. I work from home. It's really hard to get work done when your kids are home from school."
When someone is deceptive with me, I politely bring the interaction to a close, and do not patronize the business again.
In this case, I noted that he did not say that his kids were home from school, so I checked and learned that the storm missed his area, so much so that a local called it "the storm that wasn't."
He went on to avoid answering my question and "promised" to make things "right" in a few "months", and this only "if he can." He said, "So you call me in three months."
When someone writes to me, I attempt to answer all emails expeditiously. I have found messages left for me at blogtalkradio.com and Linkedin.com which I do not check regularly, which were months old. Other times, I have found someone's email in my spam folder, which I don't regularly check unless I have a reason.
Yesterday, I learned that "google video call" does not show up in my email...from my lap top, that is, but it does on my iPhone!
My point is that there are, at times, good reason why someone does not return a call or an email.
But at other times, there may be reasons that are not so...
I barely passed Latin at St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary in 1978, but I did learn enough to know what that phrase means.