17 July 2007

Customer Service: 3 strikes in one day

(I haven't written much in a long time, I've had a hectic couple of months. Luckily my dedicated readers will forgive me. I'd love to be able to sit around and just blog all day like Scoble does. What is that guy selling anyway?)

Things, as they say happen in three's. Perhaps because I've been reading a lot of Seth's Blog, I noticed a disturbing trend in three encounters I've had in the last 24 hours. I've broken it down into three posts 'cause I'm wordy. Here are links to posts 1, 2 and 3.

--- I think of customer service as a subsection of the Golden Rule: treat others in a way that you'd enjoy being treated. Obviously if you're a masochist this won't always pan out well, but you know what I mean. People are lazy. We have narrow areas of interest, and most things outside of this area of interest fall into a category called "shit I wish I didn't have to deal with".

For example, I used to have a folder in my filing cabinet marked "TAX" where I put all my income tax forms, phone bills, student loan applications, bank statements, receipts, etc. I thought 'tax' was the correct label because it included all the organisations in the world that pick my pockets. But when I realized I was also filing appliance warranties, apartment leases, and passport renewal applications in my "TAX" folder I realized that it was actually my "shit I wish I didn't have to deal with" folder after all. But I digress.

Good customer service takes something out of the "shit I wish I didn't have to deal with" pile and puts it into the "shit that someone else took care of so I can get on with enjoying my day" pile. And that's a great pile, even when it's a bit steamy and smells of beef. The best way to help people out is to take care of their needs. If you have some skill or ability like a car to lend, a delivery network, or a service that people find useful, make it easy for them. After all, you need them more than they need you: there is often competition just around the corner.

I don't want to hear "there's nothing we can do". That goes nowhere but straight into the "shit I wish I didn't have to deal with" pile. Give me "here's what we can do", "there has to be a work-around somewhere, I'll take a look", or "I'll take care of it for you". Give me some initiative. Great service does make a difference and it does get rewarded. And it's not about subjugating yourself to the customer, it's about taking control of the situation and being a good host.

Anyone want a job tending my filing cabinet? Hey, maybe Scoble will hire me to file his blog posts...

Continue to strike 1

1 comment:

  1. I have some jobs available in the "shit i wish i didn't have to deal with":

    - laundry
    - dishes
    - pumping gas
    - shaving
    - expenses
    - booking travel
    - waiting for my computer to boot
    - cleaning up after myself
    - showering
    - walking
    - breathing

    In reverse order, of course.


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