I have worked in customer service roles all my working life. We all do, really, when you think about it. All jobs and careers have customers. They might be your patients, constituents, shoppers, householders, pupils. They’re all customers, or clients, and you have to keep them satisfied, or they don’t come back.
We live in a consumer focused society, and this drives everything we do. Whether we are the customer or service provider, it drives us.
Excellent customer service is rare, good is easy to accomplish, but poor seems to be more and more common.
But it is so easy to get it right.
Last Thursday I had workmen booked to replace a fire in the dining room. The fire was delivered in the morning, the work crew booked for the afternoon. I called when the fire was delivered to say it was here and they could start work. This was about 10.30.
By 3.30 I had to call again to ask where the guys were. “He’s gone on an emergency” But why did I have to call? Excellent customer service would have been to call me, let me know, and arrange a new date. So, I left it with the office to call back “in the next 15-20 minutes” with a plan. An hour later, I had to call them again.
When you have an annoyed customer, don’t make promises you can’t keep. Don’t say 15-20 minutes if you can’t stick to it.
Finally, having wasted most of Thursday stuck in waiting for people who didn’t show up, we arranged Saturday morning, “before 8.30, so it gets done before lunch for you” Fantastic.
9 am came and there was no sign of anyone. Let down again. Really fed up now. So, I had to call them AGAIN, to chase this job.
He turned up at 9.30 with some excuse about the office never organising things properly.
A simple, “I’m so sorry I’m a bit later than planned, I had to pick up some blocks and cement to do the job.” would have been perfect.
On Thursday I had a bloke come to repair the bathroom ceiling. It was cracked, and peeling.
He was on time, polite, and did a great job. He took such care in my home, and pride in his work.
Then on the way out, while clearing up, he stumbled at my front door and knocked the weather strip off. It’s always coming off. I said to just leave it. No. He grabbed some sealant and repaired that too.
So, above all, make your life easy, keep your customers happy. It’s so easy to get right.