Personalized contact enhances customer relationships

In this the digital age, when everyone can be connected to everyone (or nearly everyone) almost all the time, I wonder: how connected are we, especially to our customers? Sure, they can reach us at all hours with all sorts of means, but how in-touch are we with our customers? How many of these contacts … Read more

Accessibility, prompt response heighten customer satisfaction

Tis the season to shop, as retailers are noticing. An improving economy and a proliferation of smartphones are encouraging people to open their wallets. According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, more than 151 million people in the US stated they shopped in-store and/or online over the Thanksgiving weekend. If you were in a store or shopping mall at the time, you can probably attest to that. Another estimate put this year’s Cyber Monday (Nov. 30) sales at $3 billion, up 12% from 2014.

Like you, I have been shopping recently. And like many, I recently placed an order online, though through a retailer’s website. The incident offers some lessons that online retailers might learn from.

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Calm demeanor helps ensure great customer service

great customer service, good customer service, how to get customer serviceRecall the last time you had a problem with a product or service. What was your frame of mind? Did you want to stomp into that store (or pick up the phone) and chew someone’s butt? Not surprisingly, most people feel that way.

If choose to follow through on your rant, you may find that the reaction from the customer service person isn’t quite what you expected. You see, customer service people are humans, too, and can only take so much. They should be resilient, but even the best training doesn’t steel them for the worst barrage.

I’ve been there a number of times. In fact, I wrote about an incident I had many years ago. As I relate, I was ready to tear into the first teller I faced when I walked into the bank branch. Thankfully, I had calmed down by the time I entered the branch.

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Customer service is a two-way street

Great customer service works both ways

You receive an envelope from your bank and quickly rip it open. Inside is an overdraft notice. “THIS CAN’T BE!” you scream. You are peeved. Really peeved. You resolve to go stomping into your branch and reading the riot act to the first teller who flashes a smile your way.

examples of great customer service

You grab your checkbook and that envelope, and head out the door. It takes awhile to get there, which is fine. You have time to compose your thoughts. “Boy, is she gonna get it!” is one of several going through your mind. But during the course of your drive or walk, a funny thing happens: you calm down.

Strolling into your branch you hear a friendly “Can I help you?” and walk up to the teller window. “I got one of these,” you say, flashing the envelope. “Let me see,” the teller replies as she brings up your account on the screen. As you both review your recent transactions, another funny thing happens: you realize you failed to make a certain deposit. “That’s all I need to know,” you reply, sheepishly drifting toward the door.

Sound familiar? The above incident happened to me many years ago, and it taught me a powerful lesson. Contrary to what you may have heard, the customer isn’t always right.

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