It seems that everywhere you look, there’s talk about the importance of the customer, of customer service, or any kind of customer care in general. But for all of the talk, the growing reality seems to be that customer service is approached in a way that best serves the vendor – not the customer.
Maybe I’m getting cynical or have experienced one too many automated chatbots or phone branching options lately. Still, it seems there is a growing chasm between the marketing speak and the experienced reality of customer service.
As a business owner, I find this really disturbing. And unfortunately, you don’t have to go far to find examples.
I’ve had some recent opportunities to be on the customer side of things. My wife and I are looking at replacing cable with a streaming service. I had a couple of questions regarding the DVR service and options. I couldn’t find the information anywhere on the provider’s website – nor could I find a phone number to call. I probably spent two hours researching before finally getting to a person who didn’t have the answer – but could direct me to it. And all of this happened while they were supposedly trying to get me to become a customer.
If this is my experience as a potential customer – what will my experience look like after they already have my money?
Another example comes from one of our staff. She found out (after I don’t know how many phone calls) that their tax return from last year was lost in processing. Trying to untangle that mess has definitely been a customer service nightmare – with costs in time and a lost refinance opportunity. And it’s not like they can go to a different service provider for tax returns.
Situations like these always bring me back to how we at HL Group handle customer service – and our client relationships in general. We are always reviewing and updating our customer experience processes to ensure that all interactions with our organization are positive. After all, “Happy Customer, Happy Life,” right?
There are no traffic jams along the extra mile. ~ Roger Staubach
I understand that how companies approach service – and our expected interactions with it – is changing. My 23-year-old daughter will do nearly anything – including buying a product and returning/canceling it – before actually calling someone with a question.
In the world of Internet Customer Service, it’s important to remember your competitor is only one mouse click away. ~ Doug Warner
There is no one path to providing great customer care – after all, our businesses are all different with unique goals and outcomes. The one consistent thing (for us) is keeping it personal – both in attitude and communications. At HL Group, this is a fundamental requirement of all that we do.
One of our core values at HL Group is that “Everything is Personal.” A disconnected, point & click relationship is not what I want for our customers, our partners, and our team.
Like I mentioned earlier, we’ve written about this topic quite a bit – because it really is important to us. Here are some of those posts – they can give you some additional insight as to why we approach things the way we do.
- The Key to Customer Relationships – Service – Lesson and comments from an industry expert and corporate executive
- Doing the Right Thing – A lesson from an 11-year-old boy
- Factors to An Ideal User Experience – Three areas that improve End User experience
- Customer Service – Your BEST Advertisement – True organization examples of doing the right thing for your customers
- Always Selling Value – A lesson from one of our partners on what is really important to customers
Or, if you prefer, give us a call at (636) 590-2917. My team and I are always happy to help you navigate the different challenges and technologies surrounding your business assets – personally.