Tuesday, February 22, 2011

BE HUMAN IN YOUR CONVERSATION



Many companies think that automation is the holy grail of all their efforts. The more automation, the better.
In that case, you really do miss the point. Why? Because service business is first and foremost people business. Your customers are people of flesh and blood and want to be treated as such. The same applies to your employees, they are also humans! So, the golden rule (treat someone else in the same way you would like to be treated) should be the cornerstone of your business.

Now, you can say, what a big deal, that is what I have known for  a long time. But there is a difference between ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’. Last week I tried to sell my shares via a specialized company. First, I did go to their website. After some searching it became clear that I needed an activation code to sell my shares. That is fine, but the activation code will be send to me (in The Netherlands) by postal mail from the US. Clearly that doesn’t help me, it is far too slow (mails take approx 3 weeks) and there is no guarantee that I will receive the mail.

So, I decided to call them, there was even a special number for overseas customers. Great! To my surprise, their menu only gave me options to listen to automated messages. There was no option to talk to a customer service representative. Incredible, why do you have a call center when it is nearly impossible to speak to a human being?

I did go back to the site and asked how I could speak directly with a human being. Fortunately they answered and gave me a way to hack the system. Yes, hack the system, press 0 and # and you will be transferred to a real CSR. I did call this person, but the only thing what she did was reading scripts and after each script she asked me to choose an option, it was totally impossible to start a conversation. It looked like I was connected with a robot.

This doesn’t work: not for me as a customer and not for the company and its employees either. Only through real conversation problems can be solved and needs detected.

Do you treat your customers, as you would like to be treated?



GROW YOUR PEOPLE, GROW YOUR BUSINESS!


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