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The Importance of Transparent Customer Service

Customer service has taken many twists and turns throughout the years.  Competition is fierce, and the battle for customers is strong.  When a company slips up, and has an unsatisfied customer on their hands, competitors eagerly wait for the other shoe to drop so that they can claim them for their own.  Because of this, many businesses are afraid to show all their cards to their customers because of the fear of admitting a mistake that would drive customers into someone else’s open arms.  But this strategy doesn’t always work, as it can leave customers frustrated by not receiving any answers.

The best approach is to step outside of the business realm and into the human realm.  You have undoubtedly come across a scene of destruction: a broken vase, a missing remote, or an unpleasant surprise if you have children or perhaps have babysat youngsters in the past.  Coming across such a sight is never good for any of the parties involved because there is cleaning up, punishments, tears and more.  No one is happy.  Afterwards, we teach the children to be forthright, admit a mistake, and pitch in to help make it right.  So why do we do the exact opposite in the business world?

It does no good to try to cover our tracks, pretend nothing is wrong, or withhold specific answers by using vague comments when we let a customer down with a lost order, an out-of-stock item, or a bad experience.  Customers quickly see through the charade, and end up more upset than they were in the first place because they’re getting the run around.  We must practice what we preach to our children, own up to a mistake, and work on getting it right.  Making mistakes is a part of being human, and others can recognize that and empathize.  Just as we made mistakes as a kid, we make mistakes while at work.  It’s all a part of the never-ending learning experience.

Transparency is a key tool in pulling back the curtain of your company.  Corporations typically lack a ‘face’.  You open yourself to receive human emotions by applying a human quality to your company.  Customer service is taking new forms as technology improves.  Relying on antiquated techniques makes your competitors’ day, and maybe even their quarterly revenue projections.

Ultimately, your customers know best.  After all, they control the future of your business.  At NBRI, we recommend using a customer service survey to truly understand their needs.  Endless internal meetings without customer input rarely result in powerful ideas and changes.  After you establish a new customer service plan based on the results of the initial survey, re-survey periodically to gauge the success of your improvement initiatives. Contact us today to get started on the road to transparency and happier customers.

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