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Posts tagged "customer service department"

It’s almost a given that every company has some form of a customer service department. Even the smallest companies – with just one solo entrepreneur – will act as if they have a customer service department. Why do people reach out to the customer service department? Because they need help, have a question, or want to make a complaint. Continue reading

This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Dan Goss shares his thoughts on the automation of the customer service department. This is an important topic as many times contacting your company for help is the first contact a customer has with your organization. – Shep Hyken Continue reading

Bad Answer is Bad Service - Low ResCommon Sense

Recently I had a question about my international calling plan for my mobile phone. I was preparing for several overseas trips. My assistant was tasked with finding the best plan our carrier had to offer. One might think this would be an easy project; just get the information and sign up for the program. But, one might be wrong. Continue reading

They call it customer service, but sometimes it isn’t.  Sometimes it is a department that calls themselves “Customer Service,” but sometimes they aren’t.  Sometimes it is a system – that sometimes doesn’t work.  Sometimes you try calling customer service and are placed into an automated system that makes you believe that you will eventually talk to a customer service representative.  What sometimes happens is that you get frustrated, hang up and start over, hoping again you will talk to a live person.  Then, just about the time you think you are getting connected, a recording comes on telling you how long your wait will be.  Sometimes it is 30 minutes, 40 minutes or even longer.

And, this is sometimes what companies call “customer service!”

Earlier this year I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Verizon Wireless in their call centers.  Their goal is to answer the phone within a surprisingly short period of time, and they usually do.  That strategy, along with a focus on “one call resolution” helps create loyal customers.  Why?  Because, they create a consistent positive experience (the key word is consistent), which creates confidence, that ultimately can lead to customer loyalty.

Unfortunately, I am finding the Verizon example to be the exception, rather than the norm, when it comes to the customer support some companies are delivering.  Too many companies and people think they are delivering customer service, but sometimes they aren’t. So, how do we go from sometimes to all of the time?  The answer, in theory, is simple.

Customer service isn’t and shouldn’t be a department.  It is a philosophy, and every person in an organization should understand their role as it pertains to the customer – both an internal customer and the outside customer.

Disney is a great example of a company that puts this into practice.  All employees (a.k.a. cast members) are responsible for three things.  The first is to do the job they were hired to do. The second is to take care of the guest.  The third is to help keep the park or property clean. Notice that every cast member, no matter what they do, understands that part of their job is to take care of the guest.  So their customer service department is…  the entire company!

And, one more thought about Disney, which we can all learn from.  Not only is the customer service department the entire company, it practices excellent service all of the time.  Not sometimes!

Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Juan Pablo Armas of Beacon Hill Management Consulting in Santiago, Chile. He brought me to Santiago to work with EuroAmerica, a financial services firm. At a break during the presentation he came up to me and shared the following quote:

“Customer service is too important to leave to just the customer service department.”

Well said Juan Pablo – short and to the point! Customer service is not a department. It must be practiced at all levels of the company. It’s everybody’s job!

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 www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)

They call it customer service, but sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes it is a department that calls themselves “Customer Service,” but sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes it is a system – that sometimes doesn’t work. You try calling them and are placed into an automated system that makes you believe that you will eventually talk to a customer service representative. What sometimes happens is that you get frustrated, hang up and start over, hoping again you will talk to a live person. Then, just about the time you think you are getting connected, a recording comes on telling you how long your wait will be. Sometimes it is 30 minutes, 40 minutes or even longer. Has this happened to you?

And this is what some companies call “customer service!”

Earlier this year I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Verizon Wireless and their call centers. Their goal is to answer the phone within a surprisingly short period of time, and they usually do. That strategy, along with a focus on “one call resolution” helps create loyal customers. Why? Because, they create a pleasant experience, which creates confidence, and ultimately can lead to customer loyalty.

Unfortunately, I am finding the Verizon example to be the exception, rather than the norm, when it comes to the customer support some companies are delivering. Too many companies and people think they are delivering customer service, but sometimes they aren’t. How about you? I hope so!

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote 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 www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

(Copyright ©MMXII, Shep Hyken)

One of the many frustrating moments in life is calling the customer service numbers to get help from businesses like credit card companies, banks, telephone companies, etc. I call for help and all I seem to get is a list of recorded menu options. You know the ones. “For this, press one. For that, press two.” Sometimes it can take five or ten minutes just to get to the menu option you want and finally get a live person on the phone.

So, here are some simple tips to speed things up and make the call go better. By no means is this complete. It is just a few ideas that could help you on the next call for help.

How do you get around the voice menu that seems to last forever? Many times, if you do nothing, a live person will come to the rescue. Don’t press any numbers, the pound or star signs. Just wait. Within thirty seconds or so, you may get a live operator to connect you to the right person.

If doing nothing doesn’t work, hit the “O” button. Sometimes an operator will come on.

This doesn’t work all of the time, but more times than not, it speeds the process along.

How about hold times? Want to cut down the time you spend listening to recorded music that is meant to relax you, but usually drives you nuts? Call at the right times. Peak times for customer service calls are just after work. If you can call a Customer Service Representative (CSR) during the day, you may not have to wait as long. Even lunch time is better than just after work.

So, finally you have a live person on the phone. What should you do? Be nice! Sounds a bit obvious, but sometimes our anger and frustration can get the best of us. This person is here to help you. They are usually listening to people complaining all day long, which means they might not be in the best mood. Being nice and having a sense of humor can go a long way to getting someone to help you. So can treating people with dignity and respect. You may have heard the joke about the irate airline passenger yelling at the airline employee about how the airline lost his luggage. The employee said, “Sir, there are only two people right now that care about your luggage and you are beginning to get one of them very upset.”

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote 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 www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

 

NFI Research indicates that customer service is the top department that business leaders say provides their companies with the most strategic competitive advantage. Just over half (53.3%) voted service as the number one department. Behind service was Information technology, marketing and then sales.

Chuck Martin of NFI Research says, “Businesses still perceive that the customer is king. This also means that smart companies should ramp up their focus on customers into the future.”

Why not take the approach that I’ve written about many times before. We know customer service is important, but it shouldn’t be limited to just a department. It should be part of the company culture and everyone should be involved. Simply put, customer service is an attitude.

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote 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 www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken