Archive for September, 2008

Customer Friendly?

How customer friendly is your organization? When your customers call in, are they treated with respect? Are they treated as intelligent human beings BY intelligent human beings? Do they have a computer voice that requires you to put in your customer identification number, then ask you for it again when someone live picks up the phone? I guarantee the CEO of some of the airlines I call on the phone for help with tickets has NEVER called in for help. The president of my medical laboratory has NEVER called in to question why they billed him three times for the same tests that were paid for the first time.

Do your customers have to know a set of particular policies to work with your customer service representatives? My cable and internet provider will not give you directions to their service center and showrooms unless you identify yourself as their customer with three different sources of ID over the phone. What if I just wanted to walk in to the store and purchase equipment? I am told that the average telephone customer service representative at this company works only two weeks, then quits or is fired. How much is it costing them (and me in turn) to continually hire, train and then re-hire and re-train new people constantly?

Are your customer service representatives empowered to make decisions to benefit your customers so they will want to do more business with you? I bought a suit from a major upscale department store a year and a half ago. The suit is made by a quality name brand, however the material was separating in a fashion unlike the quality the maker and store sells. I took it to the mens wear manager to see if he could help me in any way. He defensively told me that the store didn’t take back items. But then he made another excuse that my dry cleaner was to blame for the poor quality of the material. Finally he said he didn’t care and was not doing anything to help me. Does the CEO in New York know that this guy (who has moved from store to store locally) is making decisions like this? Does the president of this company want people satisfied or does he want the policies strictly obeyed? The Nordstrom department store chain has had a policy for years of taking back items they didn’t even sell. Who has the better reputation? Who will get my and your future business?

Who needs leadership training in how to pay customer service people who help customers and not pay the ones who don’t?

(C) 2008, The Mathis Group, LLC

For comments, email us at: jim@jimmathis.com

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