There comes a time in every man or woman’s life where they need to make a change. They need to take that step to end a relationship so they can move on to something else, whether for the better or for the sake of change. That’s right, I’m talking about quitting the gym.
The move for business to adopt more self-serve methods has been happening for a while. Gas stations, ATMs, check out counters… But I’m wondering if this is good customer service? If you define that service as getting what I want and having control over how fast I get it, then sure it’s providing you something. But does it add to your customer experience? Do you leave the store feeling like you were treated well and valued? It sounds more like a deliver system or assembly line than enhancing service?
Shaw Cable has come in and out of my life over the years. One of the perks of not being locked into a contract is that I can come and go as I wish. And I do. Sometimes it’s for economic reasons. Sometimes it’s for amount of usage. Sometimes I just do or don’t wanna have cable. This last go around, highlighted a particular question for me around customer service: How much information should a company tell you about their service costs and charges ahead of time?
Here’s a breakdown my situation:
1) I had internet only, which comes to about $80 a month.
2) I added basic TV for just shy of $20 and a collection of channels for $35 (both monthly)
3) When I got my bill, it came to almost triple what I’d been spending. TRIPLE.
Well this is interesting. Over the course of writing this blog in the last four years, there have been a few occasions where businesses have responded to posts, whether they were good or bad. I love hearing from a business to get their side of the story. Maybe the customer remembered things incorrectly or had emotion blind their description of the event? Who knows, but it’s always more balanced to hear from both sides. A few months ago, Kris Constable guest posted about his experience at Victoria, BC’s XS Cargo store. You can read the full story at the link but the long story short is that he had tried to return a camera and his interaction with the manager didn’t go very well.
What’s really vital to any customer service experience is the response from the businesses when things go bad. Do they respond? How do they respond? Well, XS Cargo did respond, twice – first in the comments to the blog and then through an email. With permission from Kris, here’s both exchanges.
Social media has been the biggest customer service game-changer in recent memory. Now, anyone can get on a computer and share their feelings, both good and bad (but it’s usually because it’s bad). Who cares? If you’re a business, you should. Depending on who that person is, that information can influence a lot of people and your (probably no longer) potential customers. How about a Google search? When you’re looking up new information about a restaurant, a retailer, a product, etc., you do a search on the #1 search engine. What if a bunch of those negative reviews came up? You can bet it’ll impact whether a customer walks through your door.
Here’s the thing though. Bad customer service happens. It just does. Percentage wise, you can’t bat a 1000 when it comes to making your customers happy. It’s what you do in response to those criticisms that will build your brand and customer relationships.