No longer waiting on hold for customer service, I WANT SERVICE NOW!

“Good morning, thank you for calling/reaching out to XYZ Company, this is Angie, how may I assist you?”

This line has been said by myself for more years than I care to mention and it now carries over into the social media world that I work in for my current job.  The line above is exactly the type of sentence I would type out when a person messages our company on any one of our social media platforms inquiring about purchasing our services.

Customer service has been part of my career since my first job right after I graduated high school; it wasn’t planned to be part of my career path (a customer service rep), it was a normal part of the interactions I had with customers daily and my skillset has been developed over time; it is still being developed today!   My point is, while we may not think we are performing a customer service role, the reality is, we are in customer service every day.

Many of us in our various careers have “customers” we interact with daily and they are called internal or external customers.  What is the difference between internal and external customers?  Here is a basic definition by Reference.com:

The external customer is the ultimate consumer of the company’s goods or services, but the internal customer only facilitates the delivery to the external customer. The internal customer can be a coworker within the company, such as a worker in a different department.   How we interact with our internal customers can directly impact how our external customers are handled. 

…I placed an order, now I have an issue…. Ugh, now I have to call and go through a zillion hoops to get this fixed – or so I thought.

An example of really great customer service I received recently is I had ordered coffee from a favorite supplier website.  The normal ordering process was pretty simple and went as follows: get on the website, log into my account, select my items and place the order.  The company’s processing went pretty quick so I received a confirmation email along with tracking information very quickly.  I knew the order should arrive within a few days and I had went on with other tasks.  When I noticed that my order hadn’t arrived, I went back to the confirmation email and tracked it. It stated the order had been delivered but I definitely did not receive it.  So, I gathered up the information, went to the company website to find a number for customer service.  I was met with a popup chat on the website within the first few seconds, thinking it was just some generic form of AI on the site, I did go ahead and interact thinking maybe I’d get through while I called the number listed.  Little did I know (at first) it was a real person chatting with me, once I realized it, I put the phone down and continued with the chat.   Long story short, I was prepared to have to beg and plead to get a refund on the order that didn’t arrive, but in a few quick sentences, my issue was resolved and within two days I had my coffee delivery in hand.  I was completely WOW’ed!

So many times I’ve experienced frustrating customer service interactions whether it be that I didn’t have enough information or whatever the issue was, it simply was just too bad… “The customer isn’t always right” was the feeling I have been left with at times.  While I do not believe automatically that the customer is always right, the customer is King – that’s an idea that was put in my thought processes many years ago in a career where I was an inbound customer service representative. We were taught that investigating is important in the process of handling inquiries to ensure we had all of the facts.  I use that thinking today still as I interact with my internal customers (co-workers).  When co-workers come to me for assistance, how I greet them, my tone, attitude, ability to gather all the facts as needed are important as it is part of their experience with me.  If I am unable to help them, perhaps I can guide them to the right person who can, and in doing so, I can give them a pleasant experience. 

Businesses today are focusing more on customer service and it is an important part of the mission statement and/or core values of an organization; and it isn’t just being developed for over the phone interactions; social media has rapidly become the new “point of contact” starting point for many consumers to reach out and get issues taken care of. 

Reference: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/social-media-response-time/

The facts above really hit home for me.  Instead of calling a customer service support line, many times I’ll go to the company’s social media profiles and reach out.  The first thing on Facebook, for example, that I look at is the response time listed, are they speedy?  This will sway my decision on whether or not to contact a company on the social media platform.  I’d prefer to use the messaging option and continue to potentially multi-task and do other things while a customer service rep is helping on the other end. I do have to be careful however; not every business is monitoring social media closely, and I have to keep my expectations in check.  There is much opportunity for businesses to engage with customers on various platforms.  The positive to this is immediate feedback and inquiries being taking care of in a swift manner.  There is also a potential for a negative effect to arise as well.  If we aren’t responding promptly we could potentially lose a customer or even worse, a bad review could be left.   

In summary, social media has become an other form of customer service that businesses must manage just as we would with a live person coming into our office or phoning the business.  There will be a need for continual training on business team members to be up to date on best practices and how to handle crisis situations.  Social media poses a whole new set of challenges for businesses that will have to be managed. 

2 thoughts on “No longer waiting on hold for customer service, I WANT SERVICE NOW!

  1. Great post Angie! I like how you added your own experiences with work and dealing with other services teams when your product didn’t arrive when expected. I to have been wowed lately by customer service teams. I order from the ever infamous FabFitFun and Stitch Fix. I recently had issues with both of them and they had easy accessible help sites. I sent my request and was contacted back within less than 24 hours by email. Both products were not only replaced but they didn’t expect me to send the damaged product back. Which I thought was amazing. It may have been because I sent pictures as proof but I was grateful I didn’t have to mess with getting them the damaged product back.
    Thanks for sharing Angie!

    Like

  2. The company that I currently work for is the first place where I heard of internal and external customers. I didn’t think of people in other areas of the company being customers, but they definitely are if I’m supplying something (information or product) to them. Great job!

    Like

Comments are closed.