Today’s guest blog post comes to us from Mike Stack, the Area Manager of Dale Carnegie Training® for Oregon & SW Washington. He has been with Dale Carnegie since 1985.
I recently took a pair of my favorite dress shoes into (New Shoes in Tigard, Oregon) to get the worn down heals replaced. It seems like I take a pair in at least once a year. When the store owner took in the shoes he smiled and said, “Nice to see you again,” I was surprised he recognized me since it’s a once a year deal for me and he had four others in the shop. I was impressed. When I picked up my shoes a few days later – which looked brand new by the way – I gave the owner my claim slip where my name was printed at the top. He looked at my claim skip, looked back at me and said “Hi Mike, let me get those for you.” My name was printed on the top of the claim slip and was in plain view, but he took that extra step of calling me by name which I did like. I recommend Don to anyone needing shoes repaired. He cares about his customers and does excellent work.
CNBC recently aired a special entitled “Customer (DIS)Service: A Maddening Look at the State of Customer Service” where they shined a spotlight on the customer service provided by outsourced call centers, waiters, retailers, recorded menu options, and a host of other industries. Not surprisingly, most of what they found left much to be desired. Man-on-the-street interviews showed an overwhelming frustration with regards to customer service, or as CNBC puts it, “customer disservice.” For all the advancements in technology — computers, databases chock-full of information, sophisticated phone systems — it seems that customer service has actually declined over the years. But why? And why is customer service so important for businesses, anyway?
To answer the first question, we think interviewee Shaun Belding, author and CEO of The Belding Group, put it best: “All the technology was designed to connect us to each other. And that’s what we did. But we lost the beauty of connecting with each other.” Since our interactions these days are often over the phone, it’s easy to become disassociated – they’re just a name and a disembodied voice, right? However, missing that opportunity to connect is missing an opportunity to make a person’s day better, maybe even your own, and certainly make a good impression for your business. You never know who that voice may be attached to: the next evangelist for your company, someone who’s having a rough day that you could cheer up, your neighbor?
Jason Lander - Founder & CEO of Hively
Guest blogger Jason Lander is the Founder and CEO of Hively. Hively lets your customers give you real-time feedback with 1 click, at their convenience. Ruby® will soon be incorporating Hively’s interface into our Problem Solver & Happiness Makers’ email signatures to get real-time feedback on how we’re doing. We asked Jason for his advice on what other small businesses can do to get stellar feedback.
At Ruby® Receptionists, we’re not just about phone answering — from our virtual receptionists to our managers, the entire Ruby crew is constantly seeking new ways to impress our clients, our callers, and everyone we interact with. We’re not your typical answering service, and we’re always looking for ways to show it. One way our Client Happiness Team shows their devotion to excellent customer service is by following every phone call from a client with an email to that client. Here are three reasons why you might want to do the same:
1. To riterate information. A follow-up email is a great way to make sure your client is heading in the right direction. If you relayed a telephone number, web address, email address, driving directions, or, well, just about anything during your conversation, do your client a favor and send an email with that same information. A post-call email is the perfect way to confirm an important date or meeting, à la “Nice chatting with you today! I’m looking forward to our lunch on the 12th.”