Would your business operate differently if you knew you risked an enormous fine for failing to fully resolve customer complaints? Does the thought of having to include a link to consumer protection laws make you a little nervous? Do you even know what the consumer protection laws are for the area in which you do business?
Did you see him? Isn’t he cute? Don’t you think KLM, the Dutch national airline, is just amazing at customer service? Chances are that Sherlock, the most adorable member of KLM’s Lost & Found Service, appeared in your Twitter feed or Facebook timeline more than once. He certainly did on mine. And I was just as enchanted by the promotional film as you probably were.
This week’s news has been full of stories about San Francisco-based pizzeria Botto Bistro and its quest to become the worst-rated SF bistro on Yelp, the massively popular consumer ratings site. At first glance it sounds like a nutty idea – who on earth would want their business to get bad reviews?
Think of your website as your hotel lobby: it’s your meeting place for new and potential guests. Any service associated with your site should be 5-star too. Aim to ‘wow’ your guests before they’ve even begun their stay!
Low-cost airline Ryanair has made a supreme effort over the past twelve months to improve its customer service. So this was the brand we checked out first when the independent UK consumer watchdog Which? released the latest edition of its respected customer service survey, in which respondents rate 100 major brands against each other (regardless of what they sell).
In the past few days all of Google’s many eyes have been on Germany. Not only did the German court request that Google reveal its top-secret algorithm, but it ruled that Google must now, by law, provide a way for German users to contact the company via email. Ignoring customer emails by coolly sending autoreply messages doesn’t count as adequate customer service.
About two weeks ago, an Amazon customer made a silly little joke about the customer service representative who’d accepted his chat request. The rep happened to be called Thor, and the customer just had to ask if he could play the part of Odin, Thor’s father in Norse mythology (and in the cult Marvel comic book series – and the 2011 movie). The transcript of the resulting chat went viral – all thanks to the rep’s sense of humour and the way he responded to the customer.
All too often, working as a customer service rep is like spending time on an assembly line. It’s a factory-like procedure, focused on closing as many cases as fast as possible, for the sole purpose of moving on to the next one. If that’s customer service for you, read on.
The profession that great customer service reps practise entails much more than merely answering customer questions. The greatest reps are your foot soldiers, your people on the frontline of the battle – the battle of winning your customers’ hearts and minds! They’re your company’s ambassadors in flesh and blood, going above and beyond to create a great experience for each and every one of your customers.
“My husband’s birthday surprise is ruined because of you! You said it would take 5 business days tops to deliver his present, and it’s been two weeks.” Your customer was planning to surprise her husband with his favourite childhood book, ordering it well ahead of time. But you didn’t have that particular book stocked. And - Murphy’s Law – your supplier delayed his delivery as well.