I am fond of reading books on new marketing techniques to find future trends. ‘Rework‘ by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, founders of 37 Signals is one of those books that blows up conventional wisdom. In the section on Damage Control, they talk about how Speed changes everything about customer service.

Customers hate waiting for your service department to pick up the phone or respond to an email. In today’s web world, getting back to people quickly is THE most important thing your company can do to ensure good high levels of customer service. Be there! Respond!

Best Practices to enhance ‘speed’ of communication

1. Provide ‘self help’ and frequently asked questions (FAQs) on line so that customers do not need to ‘call in’. Update as necessary

2. Monitor Twitter for customer complaints. Dissatisfied customers are posting their problems on  Twitter when they cannot get a fast response from a support line. They complain on Twitter and expect a quick answer.

3. Use Twitter and other social media to broadcast problems you may be having.  if you don’t, consumers will use Twitter to tell other consumers what happened to them and it won’t be your version of the facts!

I remember last year when Blackberry had an outage and messages and emails were not getting through. I signed on to Twitter. Twitter provides you with a list of the top 10 topics being discussed on Twitter at the time you sign on. Blackberry was one of the topics so I clicked on the link and a long list of users were talking about the system failure Blackberry was experiencing. In this way, users don’t have to wait in long queues with the vendor on the phone to find out that they is a major outage. Broadcast your failures and action plan to minimize damage to your reputation.

4. Encourage and foster  ‘crowd sourcing’ solutions, forums, blogs and people helping others using Youtube videos. Monitor these for inaccurate information. Encourage users helping other users. Learn from what they need help with and what suggestions are put forward.

5. Add a mobile website for your organization, providing information customers need when they are away from their computers but have  their mobile or smart phones with them. The 5  most popular requested information organizations can provide for someone searching on a mobile phone (on your organization’s mobile website) are

a. Phone number (click to call)

b. Location and how to get there

c. Hours of Operation

d. Menu, list of products and services

e. Reviews

Ensure your organization has a mobile website available for customers to access the data they need.

Summary

With the most recent internet technologies, social media and now mobile phone marketing, the requirement to provide fast access to service for customers is becoming more and more important to stay competitive.

What practices does your organization use to ‘speed up’ customer service? Add your thoughts to the comments section below.

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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

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