If you are like most customers, you have probably experienced service issues or problems that are not suited to the “email and/or the chat” format. In my opinion, the more technical or difficult the issues are, more you need telephone or other interactive assistance. For example, computer or software problems occur when you are using the machine and if there is a problem, you need an interactive solution immediately.
I am certain that many companies and organizations have taken the opportunity to evaluate their customer service performance. Although I cannot conclude, without evidence, that any given organization’s survey results are invalid, I am convinced that there are some key areas that must be evaluated or measured. As a general rule, the customer contacts you when they have a problem and irrespective of the severity of the problem they usually consider it urgent.
So, my recommendations are that every customer service survey or evaluation should include these four (4) concerns:
- Think like a customer – If your survey or evaluation is not constructed from this perspective, you may be missing some opportunities. Try to avoid the temptation to emphasize your convenience, systems or costs. Remember your survey question will not ask, “Within these constraints, how do you like our customer service?” The key point is that customer service is about the customer and not about you or your systems.
- Ask how you can provide better service – The most direct and important question of any customer service survey or evaluation is, “how can we provide better customer service and support to you?” Keep in mind that the customer is only focused on their needs and not yours. This is “doubly” true when the desired support must be interactive.
- Customer convenience – Customers only focus on one concern and that is, “I want my issue resolved, NOW.” They don’t care about schedules, absent staff or your call or service volume. If you are experiencing heavy customer service volume, it may not be your fault. Depending on the product or service you offer, there could be a range of issues from defective merchandise to poor client service. Most organizations don’t want to hear this, but if service volume is too high, additional staff may be needed temporarily or even permanently. Customers will not accept being treated as an interruption.
- Would you like the service you offer? – The only way to answer this question is to actually experience your own customer service. Depending on the nature of your product or service one solution could be to engage a “mystery shopper” service and evaluate those results. Perhaps, you could ask a customer with a service need if you could monitor the case through conclusion. We have all heard the notification that, “This call may be monitored for quality control purposes.” Something similar could be a helpful program for your organization.
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