Roy's Blog: Serving Customers
May 20, 2013
The fading technology. Old School perceived by most everyone.
Whatever you want to call it, the phone has gotten a bad rap in the face of technologies such as IVR Systems, Voice-to-Text, Email, Text Messaging and Social Media.
The pendulum has swung from a phone-centric world to a world characterized by “let’s-use-every-technology-possible-to-avoid-having-a-conversation-with-another-human”. Sarcasm intended.
For me, the irony is anything but subtle.
Every organization wants to have “more effective communications” with employees to share information, provide strategic direction and direct action.
With customers to explain a value proposition that hopefully will result in a sale.
Unfortunately, however, they are employing solutions that REDUCE communications effectiveness.
Relevant information to individuals is lost in mass media technologies.
Organizations are distancing themselves from Humans by inserting technology in the middle.
Intended outcomes from communication are not achieved as employee and customer reaction can’t be heard and acted on.
The phone is Old School from a technology point of view, but it is now the New School from the point of view of connecting and engaging with people.
With developing a “high touch” culture like Zappos. They actually encourage their customers to call them. An invitation that The Herd generally avoids for cost reasons. How crazy is that?
Inject a healthy dose of the “H” (Humanity) Factor back into organizations.
Invite people to call. Have a conversation.
Go retro. Go phone.
May 18, 2013
Ever heard this one before?
“Due to heavy call volumes we are unable to answer your call at this time. But stay on the line and we will get to you with the next available agent. Please do not hang up. Your call is important to us.”
CALLS are important I guess. People not so much.
If the call was so important why wasn’t someone there to answer it (on the 3rd ring)?
Oh I know. Because the Call Center is considered a Cost Center where the prime directive is to keep costs as low as possible.
It’s not viewed as a “Serving Center” where delivering Unforgettable Moments is the raison d’être.
May 11, 2013
Ever heard this one before?
“If we did that for you we would have to do it for everyone.”
“If we satisfied your particular need, we would have to do the same for every customer.”
“If we broke our (stupid) rule for you, we would have to break our (stupid) rule for everyone else who feels the same way you do.”
Isn’t the choice obvious?
May 6, 2013
Very interesting experience I had at The Marquess Anglesey Pub in London.
My wife and I were finished our lunch (awesome burgers!) and I was trying to get the Server’s attention to get the check. This chap was on the run. The place was crazy busy and all the Servers were struggling to keep pace with what their customers wanted.
After a few minutes, he noticed my antics and mouthed “Can I be with you a moment?”.
I was impressed with his question:
He was obviously looking around the crowd in the Pub trying to be aware of anyone who needed service.
Once he saw that I needed his attention he acknowledged that I needed help.
He then asked for permission to come back and serve me “in a few moments” once he finished what he was currently doing.
Awareness. Acknowledgement. Placing the customer in control. Letting me make the decision on whether I want him to STOP what he is doing and satisfy me or not.
Result: he got what he wanted. I gave him permission to take care of his “in flight” task before coming over to me. AND I felt good about the interaction because I felt I had control. I made the call to wait.
Lesson for Servers. Always ask for permission to NOT respond to what your customer demands.
I waited. My needs were not satisfied. But it was MY choice. And I was delighted to wait.
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