Customer Service - A Sweet Essence
article by Jim Hoyle
Due to unusually heavy call volume, our customer service agents are busy helping
other customers. Your wait time is approximately 15 minutes. Your call is
important to us. Please continue to hold...Please continue to hold...Please
continue to hold...
Obviously, the company with the above recording
has already created a working definition of customer service which begins with
an insulting message proclaiming a hypocritical and virtuous statement of
helping customers and how important the customer is to them.
let us specifically define customer service. It is the performance of a duty or
responsibility due to a customer as a result of selling them a product or
We must distinguish between customer sales and service
versus customer service. Whereas customer sales and service is largely concerned
with selling an additional item or an additional service subsequent to an
initial sale, customer service is mainly concerned with customer care.
True customer service is synonymous with "ACCOMMODATION". When we sell a product
or a service we accept the responsibility and the obligation to potentially
provide our customers with a broad range of possible actions. These actions we
define as customer service and may include necessary "ACCOMMODATIONS" to make
the initial product or service reasonably useful in the way it was intended and
in the way that it was marketed.
"Due to unusually heavy call volume
our customer service agents are busy helping other customers. Your call is
important to us. Please continue to hold… Please continue to hold… Please
continue to hold…" WILL SOMEONE STOP THIS INSANITY !!! No article on customer
service would be complete without addressing automated telephone systems. We are
all consumers. It does not matter what else we do, whether we are manufacturers
or clerks or customer service agents. We should make ourselves available so that
our customers can speak with us. Nothing beats face to face contact but the next
best thing is a person's voice. Overall, I believe that automated phone systems
may be the worst single tool ever invented for all of us as consumers. There are
a very few select companies whose systems serve us well by pointedly and quickly
getting us fast service. But the vast majority of these automated telephone
systems are nothing more than roadblocks to consumers. We have all been there
and have been frustrated all too often. You might as well try to call the
president of the United States.
WE, ALL OF US, ARE PUTTING EACH
OTHER ON HOLD ON THE TELEPHONE LINE... !!! Why not hire a live breathing caring
human being who knows their job depends on their customer. This is not rocket
Personally, I feel almost like I am giving away a trade
secret because of our own successful and long standing policy: "Customer Service
is Our # 1 Priority". But my ulterior motive is that I am also a consumer and I
would love to be treated by each company that I deal with on this level.
So, when was the last time that you received outstanding customer service? Did
you feel like you wanted to do more business with that company ? Did you like
doing business with the people who were helping you ? Stop and think... right
there is one of the most powerful forces in business: customer service, customer
loyalty and customer retention. What else is there in business with such a sweet