It never ceases to amaze me how companies’ customer service departments do a disservice to their company. While I have never claimed to be a English scholar, I thought the definition of customer service is to “serve the customer”. Now, we could debate what “serve the customer” really means, but I don’t think it does companies any good when they make really bad, obvious mistakes in servicing their customers. I have written many times previously on this subject, suggesting that technology can help companies provide great customer service, but no matter how good the technology, if the company’s policies or environment don’t allow their customer service reps to make good decisions or give them the latitude to make judgment calls when necessary, the ultimate outcome is poor customer service.
I’m sure we all could make a list of prior poor customer service experiences we have had, and what got me started today was reading Michael Anderson write about his experience with Sony’s customer service department, Adventures in Customer Service: Just Sony Being Sony . What really gets me about this one isn’t so much that Sony ties the hands of the agent in making the right decision, but the supervisor also follows the company’s policy without truly using their brain to make what should be an obvious decision – give the customer a refund. What is so tough here? Isn’t that the role of a supervisor, to consider all the facts.
While I know that everyone can make a mistake or a bad decision, it still starts with the company culture. Our entire company, not just our customer service reps, is empowered to find ways to make our customers successful. That doesn’t mean we always give the customer what they are asking for, but certainly everyone considers all factors, and works extra hard to find ways to satisfy our customers.Come on people, providing fantastic customer service shouldn’t be so difficult.
Until Next Time,