Businesses are constantly investing in ways to market themselves, widen their customer base, and increase loyalty. Still, sometimes, poor service can make you feel like you’re just another number in a set of data points. How can you tell if a company truly values its customers? These are the essential qualities to watch out for.
Sometimes, as customers, we feel a sense of dread when it comes to picking up the phone or getting in line to raise a concern. We have come to expect long waiting times, a series of seemingly irrelevant questions and verification procedures, and a lot of effort on our part to explain the problem before anything gets done.
Great service anticipates these issues and makes things effortless. Whether it’s a contractor arranging for minimal disruption as they work on your Salt Lake City home for a bathroom renovation, or an online retailer providing options for a chat or app-based support, see how a company helps ensure a smooth experience for their customers.
In customer service, there will be times when an inquiry warrants a longer response. Other times, the questions are relatively straightforward. Many businesses tend to prioritize one way or the other. But from a customer perspective, timeliness and quality of response are both essential to great customer service.
An efficient system for handling queries could over-simplify responses with a rigid script. Sometimes, issues will be raised, which are valid, yet don’t fall within the predefined logic or rules of contact handling. As a customer, you would do well to demand that businesses value your time while also adapting their responses to the nature of your query.
Many professional services rely on some form of standard operating procedure for dealing with different situations. This is a good thing — it shows that a business is willing to leverage its resources and experience into training their representatives. Yet through exercising discernment, you can still spot subtle differences across companies and between individuals in their approach to problem-solving.
The use of good probing questions and effectively restating the issue using their own words shows that an agent truly grasps the situation and its implications for you as an individual. They can then exercise their judgment or go outside the flowchart, if necessary, to arrive at a solution that addresses the root cause instead of only its symptoms. This way, they help prevent the same thing from happening again.
Nobody likes to hear excuses or get bounced around. Yet, you’ll often come across service horror stories where a customer spent hours on the phone going back and forth as one company or department tried to shift blame to another.
Sometimes, company representatives can make mistakes; equally, customers may be at fault for having the wrong expectations. Either way, effective customer service involves taking ownership of contact. You’ll see ownership when the agent makes an effort to atone for previous mistakes or takes the time to explain why another team must be involved. Look for those companies whose people are empowered to take ownership and see to it that your issues get resolved.
With the awareness of these qualities, you can better identify excellent service and choose which businesses truly deserve your loyalty and continued support.