Tim Whelan, at Customer Service, What????? writes about an experience he had at a restaurant and how other businesses could learn from that "total customer experience.” It´s important to make the customer relaxed and comfortable which provides the "first fulfillment of the customer experience." We also agree that the customer service experience (as I call it) starts outside the business (if it´s at a physical location).
Even if you´re not in the hospitality field, Tim´s post can serve as a catalyst to make you think about how you can improve your customer service experiences.Speaking (writing?) of restaurants, you´ve heard of the expression "think outside the box?" Well fast food restaurants should " think from in front of the counter." Seth Godin comes up with a very good idea that I´ve seen but two or three times in all my decades of standing in lines.
Later, in the post, Seth goes on to talk about how he tried to contact a business but was forced to wait 15 minutes (and this on a line devoted to taking telephone orders) before he could talk to a human.
I wrote about this several weeks ago. Can your customers find a human if they call one of your employees´ direct lines and get their voice mail?
I find it ironic that companies wanting to show a profit and maximize shareholder return will spend thousands of dollars on CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software and IVR (voice mail) technology yet don´t require their employees to put their main numbers on their voice and e-mails. (Which costs virtually nothing.)
If you reach my voice mail, in forty seconds you´ll get:
How to bypass the rest of my outgoing message leaving yours instead,
My weekly schedule,
How to get to the operator,
AND a pun. Yes, a pun. It makes people laugh (usually). You´ll find this week´s below.
My company e-mail signature block has my name, title, direct line, company´s main number, e-mail address, and company´s Web site.
Back to Tim´s blog above. In his post he mentions that the total customer service experience extended beyond the restaurant. In other words it begins when your customer tries to interact with you, either by driving into your parking lot or by contacting you by telephone. The easier it is to interact with you, the easier it is for you to make a sale.
My pun for the week: Two guys are stranded on a desert island for months. Their only way to stave off hunger is bring down birds by throwing rocks at them. By the time they were rescued they had left no tern unstoned.