Customer Service Part II

Here’s a good family story I thought you’d enjoy as told to me by my daughter…

If you watch the Telly much you’ll find yourself inundated with commercials, among these are the numerous auto insurance commercials each claiming to have great customer service and may bring your costs down decently.  Some quite amusing, I must say, even a cute talking lizard!

I decided to check this for myself; hey, my pocketbook may end up a little fuller.  So I began the task of calling several companies to inquire about a better insurance quote with similar coverage.

“Company A” answered my request with “We’ll get you a quote and get right back to you”.   Tick, tock… An hour later…no call back.  They must be making the bucks to treat me so unkind.

“Company B” said they’d Email over a quote, so I thought OK, that should be quite fast…, but once again…, no quote. Yawns…

“Company C” asked to place me on hold for 2 minutes; you know what I instantly thought about this… BUT, to my surprise she came back within the 2 minutes and quoted me $330 less than what I’d paid the previous year!  Yahoo!  We completed the required paperwork then and there and set up automated payments as well.  That was tremendous service.  A “10” all the way!

Question: What’s the main difference between these three companies?                             Answer: Quality, efficiency, and knowing the true meaning of good service.

As a consumer I wanted quick information along with pertinent facts on how they’d take care of me when needed.  “Company C” not only delivered exactly what was needed, but went a bit beyond the norm to help me out. You see, I suddenly got into a tough spot – I needed to quickly tend to my 6-week old baby girl when the service rep. allowed me to put her on hold!   When I returned she then congratulated me and we discussed multi-tasking vs. various childcare adventures. By the end of our conversation I didn’t feel like I’d just spoken to a salesperson, but a real, live person. That’s refreshing!

Is Quality just it in the eye of the beholder?  Does the company set the bar, or does the customer?

In any industry there must be standards to be met and upheld, determined by those that work in a particular field AND according to the input of its customers.

Do your homework and figure out what these standards are, and then figure out how to exceed them. If more companies as above had surveyed, they might have found not only reliability and affordability to be important, but friendly speed of service as well. Armed with full information, all three companies could have fought for my business.

Are you fighting for your customers’ business?  Determine what your customers really need and how to deliver this in a way a bit different than your competition. Take the time, make the effort, and learn what it really takes to “seal the deal” with your customers. (This always ends in a win-win situation.)

Continue to work to improve your standards and you’ll eventually be setting the newstandards for your industry!

Craig Ferreira, CEO                                                                                                                Survival Strategies, Inc