Influence people

Friday, July 21, 2017

This Ain't Customer Service!


Today's post was contributed by Michael J. Hatch. He is a sales, marketing and business development consultant with over 20 years' experience working with Fortune 500 companies, associations and government agencies.

Say what you will about Gen X, Y and Z, but one thing is certain: the generation of companies they run and that we all buy from don't understand customer service.


Go to most corporate websites these days and try to find a phone number to call. And if you're lucky enough to find a number, you're most likely to get an automated answering system. Good luck trying to get through that! It literally is not possible.

Tech companies in particular do not want you to talk with them.


They hide the staff and, more often than not, offer no phone numbers for reaching their so-called "customer service" reps. You must communicate through email or—worse—live chat.


Live chat, in fact, seems to be the default communication solution for most companies these days. It really shouldn't be called "live," because it's deadly:
  • First, you prompt the chat feature and wait for a reply. You get a friendly "We'll be right with you" reply, but then... nothing... ever... happens...
  • While you are waiting, if you get up to grab coffee or answer the doorbell, you inevitably miss the reply and are promptly disconnected... and must start all over again.

  • The next time round, you wait at their pleasure for a response, finally get one, and type in a description of your situation. Then you wait... and wait... and wait...

  • Every round is a repeat-sequence of send-and-wait, send-and-wait. Of course, while you are waiting, the rep is servicing two other customers in the background.
This ain't good customer service. It ain't even mediocre customer service. It ain't customer service at all.

God bless the few companies that do actually give you a customer service phone number and a live person to talk with—perhaps even someone who actually knows something about the company's product.

Those are the companies that recognize that, in today's crowded markets, customer service is a strategic differentiator and a crucial piece of the whole customer experience—and those are companies that will win in the battle for high-spending customers.

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