I didn’t think this was a post I would write in the modern world but here we are.
I also know you know this but if you are running a business, customer service is pretty binary when it comes to word of mouth. If it is rubbish people love to tell people it was rubbish. If it is excellent they’ll do the same.
I’ve experienced the sublime to the ridiculous over the last couple of days and from brands you might not necessarily expect.
I’m not going to divulge the culprit but a very large retailer I guarantee you would have heard of has quite possibly the worst CS phone line I have ever experienced. Rude, deceitful, monosyllabic grunting and left me totally stunned the three times (three different people) I had to speak to them over the weekend. I appreciate the pandemic has made things difficult but this experience did not match up with the perception of the brand I formerly loved.
The flip-side of my CS experiences this weekend I will name drop. I was stunned by the level of service that Xero provided when I made a total mess of my payroll, taxes and pension contributions. I fired off a non-expectant email to support and an hour later I had Tom call me and spend half an hour walking me through my errors and promptly fixing it.
I’m not their biggest client but felt great how ‘my mistake’ was resolved.
I’ve started a short list of CS commandments, feel free to let me know any others you think should be included:
- Don’t make your customers become moaners, they (not all!) generally don’t like doing it.
- Manage expectations.
- Give your CS team some freedom to communicate like a human, reading from a script is painful to listen to and winds people up.
- Some people are angry, especially at the moment. As long as they are respectful, let them get it off their chest and try not to antagonise further.
- Be empathetic, I’m sure you have been in similar positions before.
- Apply some common sense, this will solve most issues.
- Train you CS staff properly, don’t cut corners. It’s hugely false economy.
This list is a work in progress, good CS is something we overlook but is so very valuable.
My experience this weekend is why I will always make CS the most important part of any business I work on.
Once you get to a certain size, it probably won’t make or break you but having a great CS is such an easy growth hack to implement.