About ten years ago I had a question about my American Express bill and another question regarding their loyalty program, Membership Rewards. I called their customer service and started talking with a CSR. Somehow during the course of the conversation I said something about the weather and he told me what it was like in the city where it was located (somewhere in the American Southwest, I think).
When he answered my first question I asked him my next question about the points on my loyalty program. He politely responded that he couldn´t answer that, but he could find someone who could. He put me on hold and returned a moment later and then introduced me to a woman who could help me. As we researched my question I made some comment about the weather assuming she was at the same call center as the first CSR. "Oh no," she said, "I´m in _______," and named a city in the American South.
I was amazed that I had been transferred across the country and didn´t even know it. It sounded to me like they knew each other and were in the same center.
The first CSR, couldn´t answer my question. But he took the initiative to find someone in his organization that had the answer. (Call center employees know this as a warm transfer.)
What he didn´t say to me was, "Oh, YOU need to call ______."
Too often, in both B2B and B2C, sales reps and other employees will respond to a customer´s need or want by saying just that. Don´t say that! Don´t let your employees say that! Instruct them to call that person while the customer is standing there. Remember, customers want solutions to their problems. If you want to keep them as customers, you need to provide the solutions.
This is one of a number of posts by a group of customer service bloggers who are contributing to the topic of what not to say. Check out Doug´s Service Untitled and Tom´s QNQA posts. Doug will be posting a .pdf file soon containing the various phrases and statements.