Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Is Good Customer Service a Must?
What's the value of customer service? Can it be measured? To a point...yes. Can it make or break a sale? You bet! Will most people pay extra if they feel the service is worthwhile? Definitely! So why don't more companies and salespeople make it a practice to provide good quality, helpful customer service?
We just had the opportunity to experience the Ying and Yang of the customer service conundrum here at Wolff. It involved two cell phone companies and one fantastic young lady.
The company that was providing our cellular service was recently purchased. The salesperson we had before the buyout was excellent. If we had a question, she knew the answer or was willing to get an answer for us. If we needed help, she was always there. Unfortunately, after the merger she was assigned to a different area. Since she's taken her new position it's been nearly impossible to get any real help when we have a need. She's tried to help from afar, but could only do so much from where she sits now.
Well, it was time this week to renew our cell phone contact, so we gave this new provider a call. After multiple attempts to contact the lady that was supposed to be our new salesperson, we finally had to call a higher-up and complain. That got a call from our salesperson and a date to meet. When we did meet though it was very disorganized. She had no phones in hand to look at, no thoughts on what she felt might fit Wolff's needs, and very little experence in the realm of cellular service for a business. Needless to say, we were disappointed, so we did some shopping around.
Out With the Old and In With the New
After making some calls, visiting some providers, and asking a lot of questions, we finally came across a breath of fresh air. Her name was Corie Seay. When we walked into her store she immediately took us under her wing and showed us all the newest technology that she felt would be a help to Wolff. She then set up an appointment to come visit Wolff and bring some other phones she though we might like. When she came for the visit, she had all her ducks in a row, phones in hand, and a colleague she felt might be of help to us as well.
After reviewing all she had and asking a few more questions, we signed on with her. Well, we signed on with AT&T that is, but really we signed on with her. She went out of her way to meet every need we had. She did a bunch of legwork prior to coming over to set up our new phones. And when she couldn't get everything done on the day came, she came the next day and finished even though it was her day off. Whoever may be reading this at AT&T, you have a truly wonderful asset in Corie. She was polite, good natured, and unbelievably helpful and knowledgeable. She should be commended.
So What's My Point?
My point is, it didn't have to be this way. If the company that bought the old company we were using had just taken a little time to actually help us, we'd most likely still be with them. Because they didn't care, we moved on; and as far as I can tell, we have no plans of returning.
Customer service is important! It's what will separate us from the competition. It's what will make both existing and potential customers stand up, say wow, and sing our praises to their friends. What are you doing to provide great service to your customers? Are you wowing them? Are you giving them things to talk about? Corie inspired me talk. Make it a goal every day to inspire your customers to do the same!
For the sake of disclosure, neither AT&T or any of their employees asked me to write this post. I wrote this because these compliments were earned and were a good example for Jim Sharp readers.