Years ago a friend of mine worked as a customer service rep for a major financial institution. She was on the inbound call team answering call after call, with each caller having a different issue that needed resolution. Her company had just gone through a major merger, so needless to say that there were a lot of issues to resolve. She would tell me that at times it was hard to recognize each caller as a person with a real issue and not just think of them as another call to get through.
Back in those days if you would have asked me what I thought customer service was, I would have told you a person in a call center who answers the phone and hopefully or maybe resolves your issue. Thankfully times have really changed. Customers are fed up with bad service and have demanded change. Thanks to Social Media and modern technology, gone are the days when a complaint goes unheard.
A few months ago several of us in the office were turned on to a book called The Thank You Economy. It really got us thinking about how we interact with our customers. One of the first things we realized was that we needed to be communicating with our customers shortly after they received their order to make sure they experienced great service and that they were happy with the product they ordered. Thankfully implementing this simple yet important process has helped us both improve how we serve customers and also resolve issues on orders.
We realize that there is always room for improvement. Our goal is to find the areas that need improving while learning through our mistakes. Sometimes it’s realizing that a phone call to personally apologize might be better received than an email, or when to right a wrong, when it’s not necessarily a mistake that you made. Our motto is to treat customers the way we want to be treated.
And so I leave with you my personal belief that customer service is not a department, it’s an attitude!