Seth Godin has yet another great article on customer service:
No, of course Sumner Redstone can’t answer every single letter sent to Viacom. But…
Shouldn’t every single inbound call be answered in one ring? Shouldn’t there be as much spent on self-service customer support as is spent on the design of the selling part of your website? Shouldn’t you be tracking in the finest detail what people have to say when they call in? Shouldn’t you be rewarding call center operators by how long they keep people on the phone, not how many calls they can handle a minute? Shouldn’t there be an easy, fast and happy way for an operator to instantly upgrade a call to management (not a supervisor, I hate supervisors) who can actually learn something from the caller, not just make them go away?
Customer Service is always a balancing act. You don’t want to spend your entire day on the phone with customers who’ll talk your ear off or complain about the tiniest of issues. However, you also want to make sure you spend time on your phone etiquette, escalation procedures and systems so you can concentrate on your high value clients.Â When I call most customer service lines, the quiet subtext of the conversation from the representative is “leave me alone” “I don’t care” and “please go away” when it should be seen as an opportunity to impress me as quickly and efficiently as possibleÂ – that’s what I’ll tell other people and that’s what will keep me coming back.