“Customer service has to start at caring. No matter what employee of the company is approached first, that employee has to be trained to care. Because if the first person doesn’t care, the company doesn’t care. The customer doesn’t care that one specific employee might not care. One bad employee interaction and it becomes the company as a whole that doesn’t care, every single time.”
Peter Shankman recounts an amazing piece of customer service that he witnessed: A woman went to the wrong airport, thus missing her flight and potentially costing her quite a bit of money in airline ticket change fees. Not to mention, she wasn’t getting to her destination. A United Airlines employee not only got her on the next flight to her destination, but did so without charging her the change fees. As Peter points out, this was an extraordinary act of customer service that deserves recognition, but it was also a striking personal act from the employee. This employee had the customer service training to recognize the opportunity to make an impact for the company and make the situation better on a human level. This is a sign of an engaged employee, and United would do well to highlight it within company communications.
“Home improvement giants such as Home Depot Inc. and Lowe’s Cos. are ramping up their customer service in a big way, and it’s paying off in sales, profits and shopper satisfaction. Over the last year, the price of Home Depot shares have increased 74% and Lowe’s shares have gained 35%, while Standard & Poor’s 500 index has climbed 17%.”
Customer service is a universally accepted concept, but it can still get overlooked at even the largest companies. The home improvement giants have provided average to poor customer service in the past, but they have begun in-store improvement programs that are turning the tide. The results have been undeniable, with happier customers and happier shareholders. Everyone benefits when a company commits to excellent customer service. Lowe’s and Home Depot should be lauded for their honest look at their customer service scores and their commitment to improving.
It’s not easy to overhaul your company’s customer service processes from the ground up, but you must start somewhere if you want to thrive over the long haul. United Airlines, Lowe’s, Home Depot and many others have improved their customer service by deploying customer service surveys. The recommend approach is to deploy a customer service survey to determine your baseline scores, and then resurvey periodically to measure the effectiveness of your improvement initiatives. Contact us today as your first step in reading these kinds of success stories about your business.