Linked IN 24 Sept 14 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4biz
There’s always Customers. Almost all businesses have a customer-facing aspect to them. SW companies have project managers, sales people, & sometimes whole customer service departments. Even B2B companies need a point-of-contact to provide solutions. Often, these employees will mean the difference between a company that is perceived as caring, and a company that appears not to care. For this reason, every business—small or large—should understand what skills their customer-facing employees need, and should know how to speak to customers in order to foster a positive & long-standing relationship.
What do Customers want? In 2011, I was working as a Web Project Manager for the Yellow Pages (now Hibu). I was the intermediary between the customer that had paid to have a business website built, and Hibu’s web development team. This meant that every time one of my customers had a problem or wanted to change something on their site, they would call me. That was part of the package they had paid for—something that would allow them to circumvent the customer service team in order to have their problem dealt with immediately by someone with digital marketing expertise, and by the same person that helped put their site together. Even though I was responsible for copywriting, SEO, & design direction, customer service was a huge part of my job. What did customers want?
1. Customers want their Problems solved Fast. The “premium” package was supposed to guarantee this. After all, I would make immediate changes to copy. I would schedule design tweaks in with the development team, or I would help to solve a mis-understanding with the customer’s sales representative.
2. Customers want Direct Access to the person that can help solve their problems. My happiest customers were those who could speak with me directly. Of course, this makes perfect sense – given that I was the one executing the request. In the initial stage of the website building, we even had a designer get on the phone to speak with the customer. We were a big company acting like a small one, selling a product at an affordable price.
3. Customers want your own Opinion, not the one you’ve been told to read off a piece of paper. The number of times I had customers asking me what I thought was the best option, I can’t tell you. Almost everyone asked this. They don’t want to hear what the company thinks is best, they want to hear what the human being working for the company thinks is best, especially given you’re the one with all of the experience. Customers want someone who will try to help them, even when that person isn’t necessarily the one with the answers. They don’t care about your honest apology for not knowing the answer, they want you to be pro-active, to go and find the solution to the problem. If I didn’t know how to explain to a customer how they might transfer their web hosting over to us, I passed the call on to my manager, or promised to send them an email, explaining the process.
[ Customers want: 4.your Sympathy. 5. Reliability, 6.take Charge, Skills for great Customer Service in Premium Section ]