Good to Know
Ask Lita for customer service processes that improve customer relations and increase customer loyalty.
Like most people, I appreciate great customer service. With competition surging, alongside increases in conveniences for consumer spending, it's more important than ever that those in the business of selling products, services or information become more swift at being alert, proactive, attentive, engaged and responsive to cultivate positive experiences for consumers, otherwise customer service becomes at risk.
When customer service is at risk, business becomes at risk in sells, referrals and repeat business. However, when customer issues are addressed timely with effective communication, opportunities to develop valued customer interactions and long-term customer relations occur with ease.
Let's work together to develop effective customer service processes for your business.
Customer Service Problem
The situation listed below was only resolved after customer insistence, which included several calls and related follow up. As a result, the process for resolution was delayed and frustrated, causing the customer relationship to be lost. Read the real-life situation shared recently in 2018 and email your thoughts regarding the steps needed to minimize poor customer service. Note: your opinion (without personal identifying information) may be posted within our network.
- THE SITUATION -
Host for a popular short-term hospitality provider cancelled a booked, paid in full, two-week reservation on the day that the reservation was to begin.
The host was very apologetic, stated refund would be initiated immediately, but cancellation via hospitality provider system did not go through. So host promised a refund using personal funds to be completed within 24 hours.
After not receiving the refund promised and sending several follow up emails to the host without reply, the customer contacted the hospitality provider for prompt resolution. The connection was not easy, as the customer could not reach a representative until the third attempt. The customer had to speak to multiple representatives and a supervisor while enduring significant delay.
The customer found the final representative to be kind, but ineffective. The first approach was to direct the customer to contact the host, as the reservation was not showing cancelled in the hospitality system. The customer was insistent that a better approach be utilized; then the representative referred a case manager's assistance.
Though the case manager noted the host-cancellation message that was sent to the customer, the case manager stated the resolution process required that the host be contacted for confirmation before a refund would be granted. However the host was not reached after 48 hours.
As a result, the customer was frustrated more, because the host had not been responded within 72 hours. Yet, the case manager seem nonchalant about additional delays. The customer insisted on quicker resolution and the case manager agreed to resolve the issue no later than end of day. End of day arrived, the customer didn't receive a refund, and the manager left work.
After multiple calls and follow up by the customer, finally the refund problem was solved.
- OUTCOME -
How to Minimize Poor Customer Service
- Observations -
1. Representative did not immediately respond to the customer concern.
2. The customer endured significant delay
3. Representative communication was ineffectives.
4. Resolution did not advance without customer insistence.
- Resolution Steps -
1. Listen to ensure response meets the concern.
2. Make available the support needed without delay, per a defined SLA.
3. Outline next steps with the customer to ensure proper awareness.
4. Take the necessary action to ensure successful conclusion
Being alert for opportunities to provide customer service is essential. Steps include listening to understand and asking for clarification.
Taking action to provide customer service before customers request it is always best.
Communication is key for ensuring understanding and expectations.
Timely action shows preparedness for getting the job done.