October 6-10 is National Customer Service Week, so I thought I’d write something about how to do it well. Why Qs? Because it’s a fun letter to write, and it gets so little attention on my keyboard. There it sits, lonely and desperate for love, way up there in the upper left where my pinky finger fears to tread. Poor little Q – I’ve come for you!
So now let’s see if I can think of 5 words that start with Q that have anything to do with customer service. Hmmm….here goes!
Duh. Let’s knock the easy one out first. Nobody likes waiting for anything, and we’re worse at it every year. The best customer service happens as soon as it’s apparent that I have an issue. Oh, and if you’re swamped at a retail location and notice me staring plaintively at you begging for some eye contact, a simple, “I’ll be with you as soon as I can” will buy at least another 7 minutes before I start to get annoyed again.
Customer service scripts are always stilted, and they always make me feel like a number. (Which is probably how most customer service people think of me and everyone else.) So if you can add even a touch of personality to the exchange, it will feel less like a job and more like a real human interaction. To both of us. We’ll both like it better, I promise.
If I fail to buy something I want to buy (which has happened before) or if I fail to get an issue resolved after spending 45 minutes patiently listening to your horrible hold music (which has also happened before) then I will want to run you over with my truck. Which has not happened before, but there’s always time, right?
I looked up ‘weird words that start with Q’ and found this one, which means “of, like, or pertaining to oak trees.” And I suppose great customer service is a lot like an oak tree, isn’t it? Strong, dependable, comforting. This one counts, doesn’t it?
Which means that it should happen every day. If you’re actively interested in helping other people, then great customer service isn’t an isolated event; it’s a daily occurrence. And it will make sure that I never run you over with my truck. Win-win!