It seems exceptional customer service is fashionable again. We’re back to focusing on improving the customer experience, realizing the importance of providing excellent service and then linking it back to the company image or brand.
It is exciting to see so many companies truly making an effort and seriously improving service levels a little every day. While some companies have jumped into it with both feet enthusiastically and becoming hugely successful, others are still in the planning phases.
I received a call from a leading Spanish bank recently. I do not want to say it was a complete and unmitigated disaster, but let’s just say it was a perfect example of how not to instill customer loyalty.
Once the agent had introduced herself, she talked for a full five minutes, at full speed. She was calling to update my personal information, “according 123XYZ law”. My choices were to make the updates myself by going to their offices, calling an 800 number, or with her on this call. This did not exactly reassure me or instilling any profound confidence that was a valuable customer. She was not rude or obnoxious; it was a cold or disinterested feeling I got from her. Here are some examples…
1) “You will listen to me.” Calling a customer during business hours and starting a long winded speech does not exactly say vital customer. Starting with a little courtesy goes a long way. “Do you have a few minutes now or should I call back at a more convenient time?” This makes the listener fell like their time is valuable i.e. their business and makes them more receptive to your call.
2) “I have called to talk about my book.” AKA Syndrome “I have to read the whole scripting from A to Z”. This failure cannot only be attributed to the agent alone but also to the supervisor or the person responsible for designing the scripting. Too much information at once is impossible to process for the customer. It’s important to pay careful attention to the expressions, vocabulary and structure of scripting. Supervisors need the ability to change scripting on the fly. They need to be able to make changes to scripting when it is not working, without depending on IT staff, who probably will not consider it a priority.