Every customer contact will strengthen or weaken your business relationship. Do your customer-care systems produce a sweet melody or a dissonant noise?
A Good Customer Contact
Every time I call Bank of America, I am overwhelmed with the over-the-top friendliness of their representatives. “Yes, Mr. Carroll.” “I can do that for you right now, Mr. Carroll.” Is there anything else I can help you with today, Mr. Carroll.” It’s really pretty gushy, but I always hang up feeling like they listened, they care, and that I am a valued customer.
A Bad Customer Contact
Every time I get online with Bank of America to pay a credit card, I think they have the most confusing, unfriendly, and frustrating website imaginable. For example, they display a list of monthly credit-card transactions without a total at the bottom. I have to calculate the column myself. Buried links make it difficult to find things. Illogical amount balances include multiple statement periods, not the period I am reviewing. It’s all very annoying and slows me down. I sometimes feel like changing banks.
The takeaway: every customer contact can make or break a relationship. You can’t excel in some situations and fall short in others. A single bad customer experience will often nullify all the good ones.
Your Customer Contact
Think for a moment of the different kinds of contacts you have with your customers—courting a prospect, providing a service, or resolving a problem, to name a few.
Each customer contact should be part of a business system or process that delivers a predetermined message, response, or solution. Even if you give customer-service employees latitude to solve problems, they should have guidelines and clear-cut authority from your system policies.
With good business systems, you will give your customers a favorable impression and strengthen the relationship every single time.
If one instrument in an orchestra is out of tune, it can ruin the audience experience. When one of your business systems is flat, it can also spoil the customer experience.
All of your business systems and processes that touch customers should work together to create a symphony of service that delights in every way. When each instrument is tuned and every note inspires, you will receive the kind of standing ovation that shows up on your bottom line!