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Hook Me Up With A Human
Oh, what has happened to the carbon-based organizational interface? Many organizations have digitized humans - aka carbon-based units - out of existence in their customer service operations. Now, I love digital technology as much as anyone, but it is time to bring the people back into their appropriate customer service roles, don't you think?
Have you ever tried to reach a human at Amazon.com? When I last checked you couldn't even find a telephone number on the website. Just to annoy them, here is their toll free number: 800-201-7575.
Many organizations don't even have a live person answering phones. They dump you directly into voicemail. If this happens to you, punch "0" immediately. Some systems are programmed to ignore the first three "0s" so keep punching. This almost always gets you to a sentient being. OK, sentient may be a little strong. At least they are breathing. Sometimes if you hit the * key, you'll be sent to the company directory.
The Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals in Business reports that in a recent survey of 1,000 people about customer service "can't find a human" was at the top of the list of things participants disliked. The study further showed that calling a toll free number was still the preferred method of reaching a company, but more people are turning to the web because no one appears to be home at the phone.
The society has published an online directory containing a lot of contact information for many top companies. Here is the link: http://www.consumeraction.gov/corpormain.shtml. Use it frequently.
Here are a few other tips for hunting down a human. Try using the Whois directory at http://www.networksolutions.com/en_US/whois/index.jhtml. However, truly cunning companies have removed their contact information from there, too.
Companies which continue to shirk their responsibility to their customers eventually will pay. Customer retention rates will spiral downward and new business will dry up. At least, I keep telling myself this will happen to these bad PR poster children.
If you call me, unless I'm on fire or talking with a client, I'll answer my phone. And, if I somehow miss your call, it won't take me 24 hours to get back to you. It's bad PR - and inhuman - to do anything less.
Harry Hoover is managing principal of Hoover ink PR, http://www.hoover-ink.com. He has 26 years of experience in crafting and delivering bottom line messages that ensure success for serious businesses like Brent Dees Financial Planning, Levolor, New World Mortgage, North Carolina Tourism, Ty Boyd Executive Learning Systems, VELUX and Verbatim.
Customer Service - Google News
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Creating the Right 'Viral Reputation'
Unless you are brand new to business, or have been under a rock for quite some time - one key marketing technique (which isn't new) - is called 'Viral'.Based on the word 'virus' - viral marketing or viral business simply means it 'spreads' like a virus.
I Wont Tell My Lawyer but I Will Tell You
A general counsel of a large international consulting firm told us about his experience talking to an interviewer who had called to discuss his satisfaction level with his outside law firm. He had been using the services of a "high end, expensive" law firm out of New York.
Learn to Anticipate Your Customers Needs
This morning I was having breakfast with my good friend Diane at one of my favorite breakfast nooks. I enjoy the atmosphere there although I've been less than pleased with the customer service so far.
What Every Employee Should Know About How to See Customers Problems from Their Creative Side
Customer Service is a blessing and a curse; a blessing to the customer and a curse to you, the employee. At least so it seems.
Invalid Excuses for Poor Business Results - The Weather
Note to Kmart: It wasn't about the weatherIn the 1970s Kmart was the retailer to beat. No matter what happened, they seemed to turn profit.
Automating Your Customer Support
My regular readers will know that one of the things I highly recommend doing with any online business is automating as many of your day to day tasks as possible.From a personal point of view, one of the tasks that takes up a lot of my time is answering emails.
Are You Satisfying Your Customers?
The latest report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (Michigan School of Business) reports the following:Customer dissatisfaction with the quality goods and services offered in the marketplace is more than a nuisance. The US economy is heavily dependent on increases in consumer spending.
Businesses Need to Rehumanise
Big companies and corporations have lost the human touch. The question is, when will humanity catch on, or like robotic sheep will we do whatever the business shepherds tell us, no matter how bad we are treated? I am talking from firsthand interaction here.
Customer Service, Italian Style
Nowadays, we complain nearly all of the time about how few businesses remember how to provide quality service to their customers. But a recent trip to Italy not only reminded me that the art of service is not dead, but that providing outstanding service is the key to almost any successful business.
Small Business Customer Service Can Work Against You
Is the special treatment you designed specifically to keep customers coming back working against you?A local jeweler offers free lifetime battery replacement for any watch he sells. It's a good hook to keep customers walking back in the store on a regular basis and increases his sales volume.
If Everyone Thinks They Give Good Service, Why Do We As Customers Think Its Poor!
First of all let's look at what customer service is all about.If you go into a shop and talk to anyone who works there you expect to be treated with respect, not sold to and to have en enjoyable experience.
4 Tips Toward Overcoming Bad Customer Service
Customer service is the pits, you say. You are not alone.
Making Customer Satisfaction Surveys Work
Why bother? Good customer service is the life blood of any business. Although new customers are important good customer service will help generate customer loyalty and repeat business.
Your Number One Asset
Customers put you in business, keep you in business, and they can put you out of business. Therefore, your overriding feelings at all times should be: customer love, customer satisfaction, and customer convenience.
Add Value - And Kill Mediocrity in Customer Service
There are two kinds of customer service we all experience occasionally, outstanding customer service, and bad customer service. What we experience most of the time is mediocre customer service.
Why Passenger Surveys are a Transport Operators Best Friend
Public transport operators who already use passenger surveys may not fully appreciate the multiple benefits that surveys can bring. Not only are surveys an efficient method of market research that will help identify areas of passenger dissatisfaction, they are also perfect for measuring the effects of improvements and can, at the same time, help promote new initiatives to customers using the service.
Committed To Your Customer? Prove It When They Complain!
Businesses like to brag in their advertising about quality of work, commitment to their customers, and excellent service. These statements are also proudly advanced in Mission, Vision, and Values Statements.
The Reality of Customer Service in America and Best Efforts in Franchising, We Can Do Better
Yesterday I went to buy a sandwich at a franchised outlet. I thought while driving up would the owner be there to help out and save some money on labor, knowing a holiday weekend is hard to get labor.
Moments That Matter
Many years ago, I was a first year apprentice assigned the task of pressure washing a set of condensing coils on the roof of a grocery store on Capital Hill in Seattle, an upscale part of town.It was a 90-degree day, in late August.
Become a Customer Enthusiasm-Guru!
One thing all successful small business owners have in common is the knowledge that their business is based on enthusiastic customers. Despite their multi-tasking titles of bookkeeper, service provider and sales-manager, their most important title is Customer-Enthusiasm Guru.
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