When you go to a restaurant, a retail store, or your company has an ongoing relationship with a vendor, it’s easy to decide if you are receiving good customer service. You talk with people, employees or sales people help you, deliveries are made on time, you call for support, and more. Based on these interactions and the promises that are kept, you determine if you are receiving the level of customer service that you expect. However, there are some companies where the service may be less visible, if not even invisible.
Recently, my laptop computer, which I’ve had for almost three years, locked up. Good news. I had a three year extended warranty, which was still valid. When I called to get my problem resolved, I experienced an incredibly high level of customer service. The wait on the phone was minimal. The customer service agent was knowledgeable. They sent replacement parts out via over-night delivery. I couldn’t ask for more. As a result, I will always buy the expensive extended warranty for my computer. But, what if the computer never had issues? What if I never had the opportunity to experience their service? They would be invisible. I wouldn’t have the appreciation for how they treat their customers. I might consider another computer company for my next purchase because I never experienced how good they are.
Health insurance companies are another good example of invisible customer service. Let’s say that you are young and healthy and have an individual insurance plan. You stay healthy for several years. As a result, there’s a pretty good chance that other than the ongoing premium payments, you never experience the customer service that the health insurance company has to offer. It won’t be until you are sick and need to take advantage of the insurance that you will find out if the company is going to offer you good service. How easy will it be for you to make a claim? How quickly will that claim be paid? There are many more questions that will confirm you made the right decision to choose this company, but until you make a claim, you’ll never know.
I recently had the pleasure and honor of working with AvMed, a health insurance company based in Florida. They are incredibly customer-focused. They care immensely about their customers, whom they call members, and their health. And, they want them to know it. They don’t wait for their members to file a claim to prove how good they are. They proactively pick up the phone and call them. They let them know how to take advantage of the services they offer. They suggest ways to save money and stay healthy. This is after the sale. This is to prove that the member made the right choice. They don’t let their customer service be invisible.
Here’s the lesson: Sometimes it’s easy to demonstrate you have amazing customer service. Other times you have to prove it or remind your customers. Click to Tweet Be it after the sale or in between visits, appointments, etc. How can you show your customers that they made the right choice to do business with you, so that the next time they need what it is that you sell, they think of you? In other words, what keeps your customer service from being invisible?
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314)692-2200 or www.hyken.com. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs go to http://www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXIV, Shep Hyken)