July 19, 2013

Customer service — does anyone really get it anymore?

For every 10,000 companies that claim they offer superior customer service, only 100 or so are actually delivering it.

For every 10,000 companies that claim they offer superior customer service, only 100 or so are actually delivering it.

Recently, while I was on hold with Comcast for more time than it would have taken to buy a new TV, I was reminded of the “old days” when you spoke with a person — a real person.

A new website, GetHuman.com, has become quite popular. On it, you can find tips on how to talk to real people, not recordings, shorten your wait time, and do live chats and get call-backs.

Back in the day when I was still at the Outlets doing marketing, we created campaigns to ensure the store personnel delivered exceptional customer service. We tried cash awards and recognition campaigns, and staged a good deal of “secret shopping.” Sometimes it worked, sometimes not.

According to HelpScout.net, “for every 10,000 companies that claim they offer superior customer service, only 100 or so are actually delivering it.”

There is hope. Apple gets customer service. Their Apple Care folks are happy, helpful and personable.  They tell you how long you will be put on hold and apologize when they keep you holding longer. Other companies that have repeatedly shown up on the Top 10 list for customer service for the last three to five years include Amazon, Trader Joe’s, Netflix, Nordstrom, FedEx, Costco, Southwest Airlines and UPS.

In advertising and marketing, customer service is as important as in any business — especially in today’s economic climate. These tips from About.com can help all of us hit our stride and please our customers.

  1. Know who is boss — the customer.
  2. Be a good listener.
  3. Identify and anticipate needs.
  4. Make customers feel important and appreciated.
  5. Help customers understand your way of doing business.
  6. Appreciate the power of yes.
  7. Know how to apologize.
  8. Give them more than they expected.
  9. Get regular feedback.
  10. Treat employees well.
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