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.
You might love communicating with your customers via email or phone, but do your customers love it as much as you do? As the song goes, the times they are a-changin’: customer expectations for fast and convenient communication are growing rapidly. The average customer uses up to 6 (!) different platforms to get in touch with companies. Online communication is the new standard in customer service.
For all of us there comes a time when you need a break. Even if you don’t think so yourself, you’ll probably find that your nearest and dearest are nagging you to step away from the computer and hang out with them for a while.
Yes! Your business is finally picking up. You’re getting more orders, more customers, more emails. You’re doing your very best not to miss any opportunity out there – but you are. There always seems to be a customer whose email slipped through the cracks. Sounds just like you? Then you might want to admit that a standard email solution no longer works for your growing business.
So the World Cup is over for another four years. At first glance you wouldn’t think that it had much to teach us about anything but football. But scratch the surface of any match and you’ll find all sorts of parallels to be drawn with everyday life… and with the wondrous world of customer service.