What does engaging customer service mean to you?
I am looking for a variety of answers across a range of business / industry types - if you can state the industry that would be great. Possibly some great examples of service you have received or training you have received.
I have a summary concept which provides an ideal goal for all companies and services, even governments(!), which is to aim at the Experience. Always creating a better experience "ServingExperience" is the goal.
If the experience is good it embodies, dealing with "real people", quality service or product, good price, timely delivery and a sense of connection with the company or person providing this.
Hi Jonathan- I'm the co-founder of CanvasPop a company that prints photos on canvas. To us, engaging customer service means always doing the right thing for the customer. We empower all our customer service reps to make their own decisions. So they never have to put someone on hold to "see what can be done.". We learned a lot from Zappos and we strive to bring things to yet another level. The results are a 80% NPS score and ton of word of mouth advertising. We actually don't spend any money on advertising but we continue to grow rapidly. Great customer service needs to come from the top and be baked into your company's DNA to truly be successful.
I have been in over a dozen industries and it is interesting that there are few customer service requirements that are different from one to another.
Here is how I start...every company I manage I set forth 3 major values:
Integrity in all we do....(btw, with consequences consistently applied when not adhered to whether it is a management or non mangement person)
Customer Loyalty..both internal and external customers. Treating customers the way we want to be treated.
Value Creation...creating value for our People, our customers, our investors, our communities. Sharing information, scorecards, surveys, etc. with our People, including recognition that may or may not include monetary rewards. Building community projects that involve our people. It improves community relations and it buils teamwork. Investors, give them free access to the company, be honest if there is an issue; no excuses when you miss the numbers, but include an action planfor success.
This sets the expectations. We teach the value of doing our jobs 100% for all of our constituencies.
As we develop the culture of excellence, it has a positive affect on commitment, innovation, profitability and community recognition.
When we are consistently clear and we, the management, are transparent, trustworthy, open and candid, it has an incredible improvement outcome.
It is not for everyone, because of the accountability. Some people self select out of the company; some are asked to leave. The People who stay on contribute more effectively to make their company successful.
I am a strong believer that corporate goals are for mediocre players and it has been demonstarted to be a true statement. Who wants to be second? Most want to win the ring when they understand they can.
The leadership has to uplift their people beyond their "perceived potential". If you are the "undercover boss", it is not going to work. This includes the CEO.
You can do all the talking and training, but if you do not get the hearts and minds of your People, you will never see the full opportunity for success.
To me customer service starts by providing what was promised to be given in the first place in a timely manner. The product or service is up to standards to what was offered.
The perception of caring and competence in the service of my wants and desires.
Great question Jonathan, thanks! When I work with clients, engaging customer service means to ask engaging questions that are relevant to my clients, to listen deeply and fully to the conversation that flows from that, and to think about ways to service my clients' needs based on what I have learnt. That means product or service refinement or development usually, and following up personally with that client to re-engage and see if I can add some real value to their situation we discussed. I come out of the project management (getting things done!) industry, along with change management and organisational development. I had a speciality in team development and facilitation. Over time I deepened my work to include a creative way of working with both teams and leaders/ individuals. My service offering is now a blend of coaching and facilitating the changes my clients want to see in themselves, their business(es) or career, and their lives.
Good customer service is always a plus for me. How much of a plus depends on the specific product or service.
One of the primary reasons I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon is their customer service (I also like their prices, selection, and shipping speed). If an order is messed up or I want to return something, it's very quick and easy. This helps me be a lot more confident about ordering something online.
Another example is when I signed up for a free trial at SEOMoz (now Moz.com). Most of the time when you sign up for a free trial, companies won't remind you about the expiration date in hope that you'll forget and get charged for the next month. What was great about Moz was they reminded me several times. Their customer service combined with their product made me much more interested in purchasing.
On the other end of the spectrum, there's a certain TV/Internet provider that provides mediocre/bad customer service. But since their product and price are more appealing than competitors, I put up with it. So overall I'd say customer service always helps but other factors are important, too.