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How To Get Great Customer Service   no comments

Jun 25, 2012 @ 9:03am customer service,Small Business

I wrote a blog a while back about giving great customer service.  I’d like to take a moment and touch on an even more important point and, that is. how to GET great customer service.  There’s an old saying that is as true today as it was the day the phrase was coined:  “you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar”.  When calling customer service for any company you do business with – and it doesn’t matter if it’s your hosting company, the power company, the phone company, the manager at your local grocery store or whatever – there are some things that need to be kept in mind by the person who is expecting/needing assistance.

First and foremost, know what it is you need help with and take a minute or two prior to calling, speaking or writing, to figure out the best, most concise way to get that point across.  I will keep most of my examples within the scope of internet/network/server customer service only because I’ve been involved with it for 14 years.  Here’s what normally happens on a phone call:

Customer:  I’ve been with your company for 15 years now why all of a sudden am I having issues?

(buzzer sound from half time at a basketball game goes off in CSR’s head – CSR = Customer Service Rep).  Customer never told the CSR his/her name, account id, or any other identifying information, so CSR has no way to look account up and get background information while customer continues to talk – thus slowing down the process.  Additionally, customer did not state specifically, or even vaguely in this instance, what the issue is.  And, just for the record, these conversations actually take place on a daily basis.

CSR: I’d like to help, may I have the last name on the account, email address on the account or domain name associated with the account so I may pull your records up? Customer: Smith

Ok, hopefully, you’re seeing where I’m going with this.  These types of conversations get nowhere and take 4 times longer to get to the root of the issue and resolve than they need to.  The customer continually demands to know precisely when the issue will be resolved (as you’re still looking the account up and haven’t even yet been told what the issue is).  This is *not* how to get good customer service.

The truth of the matter is, CSR’s exist to give all customers 100% of their attention and assistance whether the customer has been with the company for 15 years or 15 minutes.  Stating how long you’ve been with the company is totally irrelevant.  Most customers think it’s relevant because they do not understand the role of the CSR and, that is, to give ALL customers 100% attention and assistance in a polite and professional way.

You (the customer) want your issue resolved.  Be concise, be specific.  The more concise and specific you can be with the information that you provide to a CSR, the quicker your issue will get resolved.  This does not mean recounting a story that began 12 years ago and somehow morphed into an issue with the company you’re currently with.  Again, supply only relevant, current information.

While you may be frustrated, taking it out on the CSR is often counter productive.  For instance, the CSR’s are human beings, just like you – while trained to handle the toughest of situations, they too have feelings, emotions and while they are there to help you 100%, when you are rude, or short (which is what happens when you let the frustrations get the best of you) – you end up alienating the CSR.  Even with the best of training by the CSR, when they get verbally abused, or insulted, or talked down to – they subconsciously may not give the extra 10% (110% now!) to help you get this situation resolved as quickly as possible.

CSR’s exist for customers.  You pay them, perhaps indirectly through your purchase, memerbship and/or subscriptions – and they are thre for you.  The key is to knowing how to maximize that to navigate to the solution you both want, a happy client with any issue resolved quickly and professionaly.

So, to summarize, some of the best ways to get the absolute best from any CSR (regardless of whether it’s your grocery store, insurance company, mechanic, hosting company or the utility company) is to remember the following:

1. Be specific and concise – afterall you have better things to do and you want your issue addressed as quickly as possible.

2. Be nice – do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

3. Leave irrelevant information out of the conversation – it’s wonderful that everyone in your family, back to your great-great-grandfather has been with the company but, that has nothing to do with getting your issue resolved.

4. Have information readily available that identifies your specific account.

5. Just use good old fashioned common sense.


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Written by Dave on June 25th, 2012

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