Life has a way of magnifying things that you need to know. One of the things that is really on my radar in customer service. As an owner of a holistic clinic, it has always been important to me that my clients feel that they receive good customer care. They pay a good sum for my services, and insurance does not cover the costs of herbs and supplements. So, customer service is always in the forefront when we answer the telephone, greet walk in-clients, or embrace clients with whom we have a long-term relationship.
We recently moved our offices, and my staff and I have had to be on the other end of customer service. We employed movers, IT professionals, decorators, electricians, etc…. The list goes on….
To my great surprise and disappointment, not everyone has the same idea when it comes to great service. We have seen examples of good customer service and then we have spoken with vendors who are appalled to learn that WE think their customer service is less than optimal.
Let me give you a couple of good examples first: My husband ordered some new software. He was supposed to receive the software within 24 hours. The software never arrived. The vendor called us a few days after the order, and asked how we were enjoying the software. My husband informed him that we never received the product. The vendor apologized profusely, said he was putting another product in the mail, (overnight delivery) at no cost to us. Excellent.
I recently purchased several engraved gifts for graduation and other occasions. One of the gifts did not arrive. The company re-sent the gift. This second attempt was also futile. The company tried to track the gift, but in the interim, sent out a third replacement. No questions asked. No excuses given, We are one happy customer.
On the other hand, we have had vendors who have sold us products which did not work. We don’t know if the products are faulty, configured incorrectly, or just a poor fit for our office. The reason we don’t know any of these things is that the vendor will not listen to our concerns, constantly pointing the finger at another provider, and refusing to complete the contracted installation.
We had vendors who falsified their time sheets. We had surveillance/security cameras in the office and supervisory personnel on the premises, but still… these vendors argued that they were here when we clearly have video of them leaving at a different time.
The dichotomy of these two extremes really forces me to consider every transaction, whether in person, on the telephone, snail mail, or email. What type of customer service am I really providing? The truth of the matter is this: The customer is still the customer. If the customer is not happy, then we have not done a good job with service.
Until next time,