For the past six weeks, I’ve been in contact with a company that has shown me examples of the very worst in customer service. However, there was one shining light — one individual who understands what it means to be a customer herself, and brings that perception with her when she talks with people. Her dad used to say her arms were “too short to save the world”, so she’s chosen to wrap them around her small area of it. Please meet Carolyn…
What made Carolyn stand out?
She listened. Typically, a primary problem people have when talking with a customer service representative is not being allowed to fully tell their story; the agent hears just enough to get the general idea and takes it from there. But it can be the details of the story that make the difference – if they are permitted to be heard.
She was clear in what she said she was going to do. When I hung up my phone after our first conversation, I knew what Carolyn was going to do next because she had told me. She didn’t just say she would get back to me; instead, I knew who she was going to call, what questions she was going to ask, and when she would call me back.
She followed through. During our initial conversation, Carolyn said she would call me the next day, even if it was only to tell me she didn’t yet have any answers — and she did. Keeping the customer informed is important. When they are waiting for a response, five minutes can feel like 15, and if information is not forthcoming, the customer often feels their problem is being ignored.
Providing a positive customer experience is not difficult. It is recognizing that the customer is a person with a problem, understanding the importance of listening, clarifying your understanding of what the other person is saying, being clear about your next steps, and following through in a timely manner.
I didn’t receive the response I was looking for from this company, and unfortunately, I had to deal with several people who were clearly not trained in communication and customer service. Just as I’ve attempted to make them aware of the poor customer service I’ve experienced, I will also send them a copy of this blog post, because Carolyn’s actions deserve to be recognized.
Thank you, Carolyn, for your professionalism – it is appreciated!