If I asked you to tell me about an awful customer service experience you've had, you could probably give me several. And I bet that when you received this less than stellar service, you told other people, right? Sure you did. We all do. We need to vent with others we trust, and we want to warn them against patronizing businesses and services that don't deserve our business.
Now , let's flip the coin for a moment and think about the last time you received outstanding service. What did it look like? What was it that made it so wonderful? What made the difference? When you got this fantastic service, how many people did you tell?
Research suggests that when we're satisfied we relay the great experience to a few people. When we're disgruntled, watch out -- we tell many more. We seem to be quick to complain and slow to compliment. But why? Great service begs to be acknowledged, and there's two people who need to hear about it:
the person serving you
Last week, I received a phone call from an online autoresponder service I was trialing. I'd decided not to go with them in large part, due to cost and because I could get comparable services elsewhere. Although their product was a cadillac, I didn't need all the bells and whistles. I had advised my customer service rep of my intent to leave the plan and he relayed the information to his colleague to close my account. When Scott (let's call him that) called me, he asked why I was leaving. I told him. And then I continued to expound on some of the suggestions I had for his product. I then told him about the excellent service that Steve (the sales rep) had offered me. I asked that my comments be relayed to Steve (I'd already told him personally, but I wanted his colleague to know too) and be noted to his supervisor. In a case like this, I often ask to speak directly to the supervisor who is always pleasantly shocked to hear someone taking the time to compliment a staff member. That tells me that it doesn't happen often.
Asking for your positive feedback to be noted to someone's personnel file is the best way to say "thanks". Be specific about what the person did to help you and the impact their service had on your business, your stress level, your life.
Gestures like this take only a few moments, yet their impact can make differences to careers and last a lifetime. It's motivating and encouraging for the person serving you to hear and it reinforces this great behaviour. It's also important for the supervisor to hear, to know that they have a real "winner" in their midst, and this information may well open doors for that employee and also make the supervisor look good too.
Next time when you get a chance to pass on a compliment about customer service, do it. Someone needs to hear. And now, you know who.
Until next time, here's to ...
Positive communication, Productive relationships, Powerful results!
Marion Grobb Finkelstein
Keynote Speaker / Corporate Trainer / Author
© 2010 Marion Grobb Finkelstein
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