Tag Archive: customer

Winning The War in Building Customer Service 2 of 2

Winning The War in Building Customer Service 2 of 2
Customer service, how I loathe thee.  Let me count the ways.  The never-ending loop of obnoxious hold music.  The pressure to buy new products and services.  The poor-quality, outsourced call to a distant land.

A call to customer service can be an infuriating ending to a frustrating experience.  You’re upset and looking for empathy, but all you encounter is disappointment.  Could Company X have done something differently?  Probably, but if you follow these tips when dealing with customer service, you’ll be in the driver’s seat for the next dispute.

1. Be prepared.

Seems basic, right?  Unless you’ve called Company X several times, you’re probably not familiar with their required information.  Have every tracking number, account number, itemized statement, and order number before you call.  Customer service representatives are held responsible for torturous call-handling metrics designed by masochistic management.  Length of call, resolution (if the customer calls back to the company within an allocated amount of time), and randomly monitored calls are measured stringently.  Bottom line: they want to help you quickly and completely, lest a superior crack a whip.

2. Be nice.

Customer service representatives speak with upset, irritated, and/or irate people all day.  Every day.  You may not agree with a credit denial, but screaming “the customer is always right, (expletive)!” will not help.  Be pleasant and the rules may be malleable.  Be another unpleasant customer and the guidelines will be set in stone.

3. Know when to call, know when to write.

If you need to request a price quote, add/remove a feature, or ask for explanation of a bill, e-mail is the most efficient route for your correspondence.  For repair concerns or credit requests, call customer service.  Repair specialists will need to troubleshoot and get access information should a technician need to be dispatched.  Credit requests can be handled via e-mail, however, it is easier to reply with a “credit denied” form letter than to deny credit to a real, live person.

4. Get on record.

If something is not working properly, call the company immediately.  If there is a cable, satellite, or phone outage, Company X will only be able to diagnose and correct the problem if they are notified a problem exists.  This also establishes a record of communication should you need to request a credit or refund at a later date.

5. Be persistent, but not obnoxious.

Many companies have guidelines for dispensing credit that require denial the first time for any request that is not a previously-reported “out of service” issue or a known billing error.  The second time a credit request is made, these guidelines can be relaxed.  If you have followed the “be nice” tip above, you may be rewarded with your credit request.

Following these five tips will help you get what you want in the most efficient manner possible.  Stay tuned for the next installment to find out how you can aggravate the customer service experience and actually delay resolution!

Winning The War in Building Customer Service 1 of 2

Winning The War in Building Customer Service 1 of 2

Customer service, how I loathe thee.  Let me count the ways.  The never-ending loop of obnoxious hold music.  The pressure to buy new products and services.  The poor-quality, outsourced call to a distant land.

A call to customer service can be an infuriating ending to a frustrating experience.  You’re upset and looking for empathy, but all you encounter is disappointment.  Could Company X have done something differently?  Probably, but if you follow these tips when dealing with customer service, you’ll be in the driver’s seat for the next dispute.

1. Be prepared.

Seems basic, right?  Unless you’ve called Company X several times, you’re probably not familiar with their required information.  Have every tracking number, account number, itemized statement, and order number before you call.  Customer service representatives are held responsible for torturous call-handling metrics designed by masochistic management.  Length of call, resolution (if the customer calls back to the company within an allocated amount of time), and randomly monitored calls are measured stringently.  Bottom line: they want to help you quickly and completely, lest a superior crack a whip.

2. Be nice.

Customer service representatives speak with upset, irritated, and/or irate people all day.  Every day.  You may not agree with a credit denial, but screaming “the customer is always right, (expletive)!” will not help.  Be pleasant and the rules may be malleable.  Be another unpleasant customer and the guidelines will be set in stone.

3. Know when to call, know when to write.

If you need to request a price quote, add/remove a feature, or ask for explanation of a bill, e-mail is the most efficient route for your correspondence.  For repair concerns or credit requests, call customer service.  Repair specialists will need to troubleshoot and get access information should a technician need to be dispatched.  Credit requests can be handled via e-mail, however, it is easier to reply with a “credit denied” form letter than to deny credit to a real, live person.

4. Get on record.

If something is not working properly, call the company immediately.  If there is a cable, satellite, or phone outage, Company X will only be able to diagnose and correct the problem if they are notified a problem exists.  This also establishes a record of communication should you need to request a credit or refund at a later date.

5. Be persistent, but not obnoxious.

Many companies have guidelines for dispensing credit that require denial the first time for any request that is not a previously-reported “out of service” issue or a known billing error.  The second time a credit request is made, these guidelines can be relaxed.  If you have followed the “be nice” tip above, you may be rewarded with your credit request.

Following these five tips will help you get what you want in the most efficient manner possible.  Stay tuned for the next installment to find out how you can aggravate the customer service experience and actually delay resolution!

7 Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

7 Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

Here are 7 low-cost but highly effective marketing tips to help any small business find customers and generate sales quickly.

1. Don’t Advertise Like a Big Business

Big businesses advertise to create name recognition and future sales. A small business can’t afford to do that. Instead, design your advertising to produce sales …now. One way to accomplish this is to always include an offer in your advertising – and an easy way for prospective customers to respond to it.

2. Offer a Cheaper Version

Some prospective customers are not willing to pay the asking price for your product or service. Others are more interested in paying a low price than in getting the best quality. You can avoid losing sales to many of these customers by offering a smaller or stripped down version of your product or service at a lower price.

3. Offer a Premium Version

Not all customers are looking for a cheap price. Many are willing to pay a higher price to get a premium product or service. You can boost your average size sale and your total revenue by offering a more comprehensive product or service …or by combining several products or services in a special premium package offer for a higher price.

4. Try Some Unusual Marketing Methods

Look for some unconventional marketing methods your competitors are overlooking. You may discover some highly profitable ways to generate sales and avoid competition. For example, print your best small ad on a postcard and mail it to prospects in your targeted market. A small ad on a postcard can drive a high volume of traffic to your website or generate a flood of sales leads for a very small cost.

5. Trim Your Ads

Reduce the size of your ads so you can run more ads for the same cost. You may even be surprised to find that some of your short ads generate a better response than their longer versions.

6. Set up Joint Promotions with Other Small Businesses

Contact some non-competing small businesses serving customers in your market. Offer to publicize their products or services to your customers in exchange for their publicizing your services to their customers. This usually produces a large number of sales for a very low cost.

7. Take Advantage of Your Customers

Your customers already know and trust you. It’s easier to get more business from them than to get any business from somebody who never bought from you. Take advantage of this by creating some sp