Targeted Customer Service

Customer Problem ResolvedHave you ever called a customer service or technical support hot line for cable or satellite TV, internet, computer or software problems?

If you have, you will probably recognize at least some of what I describe.

One of the more frustrating experiences we face with technical products and services is the lack of targeted customer service.  A behavioral change many of us would like to see is more effective use of the stored information about our previous or particular issues, so that our current issues and questions can be quickly escalated to the appropriate level of authority or technical expertise.

Here are three areas that could be improved to the benefit of all.

Customer HistoryI don’t expect service provider to actually know me, but my name is included in my “order” profile. Since they have all of my biographical information in their systems, it is not completely beyond reason that they will or could see my purchase and service history. More specifically, I want them to know my history of calls or requests for service. This information should help them to determine when to escalate my issues to more appropriate technical support. Many of us have experienced having to work through the basic troubleshooting protocols even if we have already tried that process at a previous time. Some organizations have already implemented algorithms that tells them whether or not basic first line or a senior level of technical support is required.

The Right SupportSome organizations still prefer to provide customer support in a standardized format which is the exact opposite of the aforementioned possibility. When a customer calls, describes the problem and the steps that have already been taken, some still require that you complete the standard template actions again. When this happens, almost everyone wishes they could find another provider, but they are probably not any better. So, we waste each other’s time by inefficiently providing inefficient support.

The Ultimate SolutionI read one account of a customer who had purchased a laptop that later began to have problems. The customer had called about the problem at least twice. But their algorithm identified this and the technical support representative was able to offer a new laptop instead of making the customer go through all of the fixes on the trouble shooting template. In my opinion, they maintained or created a very happy and satisfied customer.

The goal is to make it easy and pleasant for your customers. In the customer service planning process, an empathetic process will yield a more customer friendly approach.

Related Articles:   Customer Retention Is King   and   customer service … Be Careful What You Cut!

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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