Start at the top of the organization! Yes, you read this correctly! It starts with the people who never/seldom take a single Customer Service call.
It often amazes me, when I ask the question of the CEO/President of a company, when last did you “speak” to your customer- not your top clients, but the general run of the mill client? When last did you “call” your Customer Service line? When last did you try using your Interactive Voice Response menu? Often I am greeted with a stoned face response and an attitude of “why should I”, “I pay people to do that!” It’s not my problem.”
Well, actually it is!
Until CEO’s/President becomes part of the company’s Customer Service policy and drives resource (energy/time/money) to it, it is unlikely any meaningful long-term improvement will be made- The customers impression of bad service won’t disappear by itself!
However once you have the CEO/President on board, it is astonishing at how little substantial gains in Customer Service actually costs.
Customer Service improvements can often be achieved by simple adjustments and “interest” in the environment.
A rethink of an IVR or ensuring all the IVR options work, that the voicemail box is not full and that there is actually a path to a real live person can make a substantial difference to how your organization is perceived and your service rated. I regularly smile when I am greeted with “if you know the persons extension you are looking for, please dial it now” and that is my only option, before being rudely hung up on!
Often all it takes is for the CEO/President to answer a few calls in the Customer Service department for them to gain a little perspective of how difficult it can be answering calls all day. In addition it gives the CEO/President an insight as to where their communication may be lacking or product improvements can be made. CEO’s/Presidents are privy to information that may not have been shared and so subtle nuances in how a question is posed may be lost on the agent and in turn a problem never rectified, which in turn continues to drive unnecessary traffic and long hold times, making the experience for the client horrific and perpetuating the problem.
Sometimes it’s the smallest little adjustment that makes the largest impact, it costs nothing but time and interest.
If the Banks, Insurance and Telecommunication company’s the biggest culprits for bad resource planning when it comes to “unusually high call volumes”, had their CEO’s/Presidents answer the phones for an hour a week a number of immediate improvements would be made.
• Productivity would go up
• Staff moral would increase
• Both customer and staff loyalty would increase
• Salaries would go up
• Chairs would be more comfortable
• PC would be faster
• Integration would be prioritized
• More user friendly software ordered
Customer service would be revolutionized and clients would feel “heard”.
Could you imagine calling your Hydro Company to check your account and speaking directly to the CEO, you can’t buy that sort of “feel good” reaction and the positive ripple effect on your brand? Could you imagine how fast that news would travel?
Killing the Customer Service hold time, is not all about “new technology,” “expensive reinvestment” or implementing “new fad idea’s”
It is about you and your customer and the manner in which you manage the overall relationship. How “available” are you to your customer. It’s about delivering the “warm and fuzzy” on every call.
Improved Customer Service does not have to cost a fortune, it can be “free”.
If you are not sure “where to start” and “how to make it happen” call us. We will work with you to improve your Customer care environment for “free”
Denise Gavin: Owner and Customer care expert for VASoft. Denise believes, it’s the little things that count and for us to improve the Customer Service experience we have to treat people like they matter, no matter how small they are on the bottom line.