Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Note About Customer Service

We regularly receive what we call "love notes" from customers thanking us for our dedication to high quality products and excellent customer service. As manager of customer service, I know that we provide excellent service, but I wonder from time to time WHY exactly people get so excited about it. The reason I wonder why is because when it comes down to it, we're not doing anything extraordinary. Simply put, we answer the phone when people call. We respond to all e-mails within 1 business day. And we guarantee our work 100%. It's not that complicated.

Yesterday I had a pretty bad customer service experience with another company. I'm moving this weekend and I needed to call the utility companies to change the services into my name at my new place. I'm moving Friday and the customer service agent from this utility company was trying to schedule my appointment to turn on the heat for next Wednesday. NEXT WEDNESDAY?!?! I live in Buffalo, NY. You can't go without heat for 5 days in the winter in Buffalo.

Naturally, this concerned me.

I brought up my concern and the customer service agent just kept repeating that the earliest appointment available was next Wednesday. Finally, I said, "Listen, I understand that the earliest appointment is Wednesday. But I need to talk to you about something else. I need to deal with this problem." After some coaxing, I got her to actually acknowledge my concern and help me solve the problem, but it was a pain in the you know what and really frustrating. I felt helpless. The person I had called for help was not helping me.

Whenever something like that happens, I always think to myself: THAT is why people love dealing with so much. They're so used to dealing with BAD customer service that they can't believe their luck when they call us and we actually help them.

When I first meet people and tell them I work in customer service they always moan and say something to the effect of, "That must be awful. How do you stand it?"

I always smile and confidently say, "I love my job."

It's true. I really do love my job. My job is to help people and helping people feels great, especially when our company policies make helping people so easy. Like I said earlier, we do three simple things:

1. We answer the phone when people call. We won't put you on hold or make you talk to a robot.
**If we don't answer because the lines are busy, leave a message and we'll call you back right away (usually within 30 mins).
2. We respond to all e-mails within 1 business day.
3. We guarantee our work 100%, regardless of whose fault it is.

What it all boils down to is this: we exist as a company because we have customers who take advantage of our services. We know how important you customers out there are to our business. At, we are here to provide you with a service you value, a service you can trust and a company you can rely on to help make things right if you run into a problem.

1 comment:

  1. I agree--you and your company is totally focused on customer service and it shows in your willingness to listen to your customers, reward you repeat customers with great perks-but most of all, you put yourself in the customer's shoes and make the right decision based on that.

    I'm a bank manager by day, artist by night--so I understand completely where you are coming from and try to operate our branch in much the same way. :)


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