Customer service story, Flight DL 2324, from Salt Lake City

Catching the Red Eye

???????????????????????????????????????Few nights ago, I was returning to Atlanta from Portland, Oregon via Salt Lake City. I particular like the night flights but when you want to leave you want to leave.  Boarding was 12:05 A.M. for a 12:45 A.M. departure. As the gate attendants began their announcements about the flight you could feel the relief. We were all itching to go. And then a male voice boomed over the air.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve a bit of bad news. One of the flight attendants did not show up, and we are looking at a possible 1:45 A.M.departure. We have  contacted another and she has two hours to get here. We’ll keep you updated, but we cannot board the aircraft at this time,” or words to that effect. I think I’m pretty close to what he said. But that didn’t matter,  I was tired. Continue reading “Customer service story, Flight DL 2324, from Salt Lake City”

Customer Service: Are the right question being asked and are you answering correctly?

What you are doing wrong.

Why aren’t you answering your phone?

When it comes to customer service how knowledgeable are you about your customer’s needs?  How responsive are you and how quickly do you respond to their issues? In the book “Raving Fans,” the authors declared:phone ring

“Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are low and because no one else is doing better.”

I had one of my customer who has tested a competitor’s product tell me that once when he had an issue with the product, he was given a solution in forty-five minutes that solved his problem permanently. For my industry that was quick. It also turned out that the problem was being caused by a device that wasn’t a part of the system he was testing.

Know your product

The first thing about customer service is that you know the product that you are selling. This may seem simple enough because you have a trained customer department. But they can’t know everything about a complex product; so are there resources readily available for your service representative to find answers? Do they have the resource that they can call to help solve a problem, because they know the product better?

How fast can you fix the issue?

If it is an issue that needs the customer to perform an act, providing the service department understands the problem, and have a solution, then the problem might be easy to fix quickly. Better yet as in the case of my customer with the competitor’s product, the solution was sent directly to the problem device via a cloud solution.

Can your customers describe their problem

This brings me to my next questions. Do you listen to your customer? Are you asking the right questions, and are they describing the problem correctly? A customer lack of knowledge about the product can hamper the service provided. They may not state what is happening correctly. Ever been asked by a doctor to describe your pain? Even that can be difficult. Think of your customer who only knows what your product does when it is working correctly. When it is not working is new territory.

I have a customer who has had the same issue for about eighteen months with an end-user of a product. All my attempts to help him failed. Even when he asked the “right question,” it was framed in such a way that the answer I gave him was not helpful. It turned out that he was buying the wrong product from our internal sales department. How did I find out? He sent me the document he had that prompted the “right question.” He did not know what he was looking at so his question was not framed correctly. Educate your customer, and re-educate your customer.

The fix was another issue. Not because I was at fault throughout the process, although I had some missteps but because our infrastructure was bad, and the customer was not communicative. Think eighteen months.  However, if we had a good system in place even a non-communicative customer would have been helped quickly.

Is your Customer Service Department infrastructure customer friendly? Continue reading “Customer Service: Are the right question being asked and are you answering correctly?”