When you think of calling customer service for a large company – or for that matter, any company – what is the first thing that comes to mind?
As sad as it is to admit, most people will recall endless telephone-menus, hold times with irritating “muzak”, and robotic customer service representatives who may or may not have a hard-to-place accent.
Which is a shame really. For a fair percentage of consumers, customer service is the only human interaction that they will have with the company whose product they have purchased. As social creatures, if the experience we receive is abysmal, it isn’t a stretch to imagine we would project that experience onto the company in question and the products they sell.
Remember though – this projection is a two-way street. Consumers are just as likely to form a favorable opinion of a company/service/product if they receive stellar customer service.
Case in point. Last night I called UPS’s toll-free number to inquire about overnight shipping rates. Before I even dialed the number, I had put aside a good half hour of time to devote to being put on hold and waiting for a representative, and put on my firm, assertive, “don’t mess with me” voice (something that doesn’t really come naturally those who know me will tell you). I then took a few deep, calming breaths, and dialed; this is what happened:
*phone rings twice and then there is a click*
Voice: Hi! This is Jay. How can I help you?
Me: *obviously dumbfounded* Uh hi…is this UPS?
Jay: Sure is, what can I help you with this evening sir?
Me: Oh, uh, can you tell me what it would cost to ship some documents from Saskatoon to Toronto overnight?
Jay: Certainly. That would be… *he then goes on to explain all my options*
Me: Alright, that sounds perfect. Thanks!
Jay: No problem, is there anything else I can do for you this evening?
Me: Nope, that’s it for now.
Jay: Sure thing. If there is anything else we can do for you, or answer any more questions feel free to give us a call anytime. Have a good night Chris.
Me: You too Jay.
Now that is customer service! The whole process took a painless two whole minutes; he answered my questions without any fluff, didn’t try to up-sell me, was friendly, prompt, and even used my name once I gave it to him. All of this and I wasn’t even a customer, just a guy with a question.
Needless to say, the next time I have to ship a package, UPS will be in the forefront of my mind because of the positive experience I had with Jay.
Is your customer service making as big of an impression on consumers as Jay’s did for me? Or, have you ever experienced customer service which made you question the company you were dealing with? I’d love to hear your experiences.