In this day and age, when customer service seems to be outsourced to the farthest reaches of the planet, is it not surprising that people expect that your “customer support team “will be nothing more than a veiled attempt to placate their need to speak to a live person.
I think that most technology companies have done themselves a disservice by reducing their customers to nothing more than annoyances to be shuffled off to the perpetual hold line or the inevitable voicemail box. Sure there are costs involved in having people staff telephone call centers and speak to people one on one, but have these companies ever considered that maybe, just maybe if they spent more time making their service easier to understand or a little more user friendly, that they wouldn’t have to spend so much time on the phone.
Lets face it, picking up a phone, calling a toll-free or long distance number and waiting on hold is a chore. It’s so much easier just sending an email or submitting a help request on a website, so when someone actually takes the time to pick up the phone and call, shouldn’t the company at least acknowledge that and put someone competent to make decisions on the line?
At Rezgo we spend a lot of time tweaking the system to make things simple for our members. We also produce a lot of tutorial videos, write a lot of content, and publish a lot of support articles. The reason for all this is to make sure that our members have access to helpful content 24 hours a day. During office hours though, we’ve made the commitment to answer every call. It doesn’t always happen but for the most part, we’re pretty good about picking up the phone and talking to people. Heck, we even responded to a help request on Facebook and told the person to call our office for assistance. From what I have experienced, most tech companies just shuffle you off to a help desk application.
Although I have no doubt that our customer service approach is a reflection of our core values, it also has a lot to do with our business model. As a transaction fee based system, we only generate revenue when our customers are successful at generating bookings. Our motivation therefore, is to ensure our customers are happy and generating bookings. It’s like the old Vidal Sassoon slogan “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.”
What we have learned over the years is that if you treat your customers like a burden, they will become a burden. If you treat your customers like people, help them succeed by using your service, and treat them with respect, they will be your ally. So, if you’re considering that convoluted phone tree with the many extensions and cheesy hold music, maybe just try picking up the phone and saying “Hello”.