Many will think that they already have this subject covered and under control. But as I have listened people talk about this subject I sometimes wonder, let alone reflect on my own customer service experiences over the years.
Have you ever tried calling a company and got a voice saying press this to get that or give the first three letters of the last name for the person you are trying to reach? Have you ever called and asked for a particular person, only to be put on hold for several minutes and the operator or receptionist returns back on the line and asks who are you waiting for?
The company voicemail system is a great tool if used properly. Voicemail allows a perspective customer or caller to leave a message for a particular person hoping to get a call back. The success of voicemail is the information left and making sure the call is returned in a reasonable period of time. I think within the first hour of the call is appropriate.
Phone etiquette is another area that requires excellence. Sometimes I think that people get paid for how fast they talk and how quickly they can get rid of the caller. Personally, I would rather have the receptionist be patient and make me feel that I have something that is important enough to say for me to have made the call in the first place. Most of the above will apply to any office function, but excellent customer service should expand throughout the company and include everyone attached to the company name, be it by a paycheck, name on a vehicle or uniform.
Think of how an installer or service technician is representing the company. Do the installers show up on time with a clean uniform, ID tag and a professional attitude? Do they leave the customer comfortable by explaining how the new heating or A/C system will perform and give them the comfort they expect? Does the sales man revisit to the customer after the job is completed? Again do they show excellence in servicing the customer, or do they have a take the money and run attitude? Remember that often repeat business comes from your customers’ referrals, not just the $50.00 referral fee I often get in the mail from my own oil company.
Now let’s look at the service side of excellence. Did he or she greet the customers with a friendly, my name is XYZ and I’m from XYZ company and a how can I help you attitude? Did he or she listen to the customers’ concerns, which by the way can often diffuse an angry situation and identify the problem? Did the technician show or explain the problem to the customer? Did the technician explain the charges for the work required? If a follow up is required, is the proper procedure in place to make sure that the customer knows when the service will be completed? Remember the customer should not have to call for follow-up service, and keep in mind they do, in fact, sign our check.