What's Your Customer Really Thinking?

A few months ago, I was loaded up with my son in the car, ready for work and school, when my garage door decides to pop its spring trapping me in my garage. Talk about feeling absolutely helpless. Luckily I got out with some helpful muscle power, but now I had a broken garage door on my hands and all the hassle that comes with getting quotes from companies and scheduling someone to come out to get it fixed. Like many of you, I have a tendency to schedule every spare minute of my day. The prospect of making phone calls that should be simple and to the point but rarely are did not mitigate my stress.

I ended up calling three places. One asked that I leave a message, which I didn’t do because I’d allotted a half hour in my day to get the quotes and schedule an appointment. I didn’t want to be dealing with this again later in the day.

The next place couldn’t give me a price. They said they’d have to come out and see. Great, I thought. Will everyone need to come out and see the door to give me an estimate? That means I have to schedule several different times to leave work and be home to talk to the people… next!

The third place answered the phone immediately (very pleasantly, I might add), gave me one very reasonable price for fixing the spring, and offered to schedule a time to come out. Sold!

In customer service, expect that you’re dealing with a customer who is already in a bad mood because something is wrong. They are annoyed that they have to take time out of their busy day to fix this, and anyone, anyone, who can make this easy and pleasant for them will get their business.

These three extremely simple things got one company the business and excluded the others:

  • Someone answered the phone. If you’re in e-commerce this translates to someone answered the email within the hour, or at the very least, that day.
  • Someone offered a clear, immediate solution.
  • Someone scheduled an end to the problem.

Customer service is the same for brick and mortar as it is online. Because there are so many sellers out there who cause frustration and angst when a customer reaches out, if you can solve the problem quickly and pleasantly, you will be appreciated. Hopefully with good reviews and referrals.

- Dana Barfield