Had the ominous task of phoning two call centres earlier this week. One a bank, the other a famous motoring organisation beginning and ending in ‘A’.
We often dread these kind of tasks and, if like me, you will have to fight the urge to procrastinate. Imagine my surprise when the whole experience was really positive and whilst I would not go as far to say pleasurable, I left the phone feeling good about both organisations.
A perspective on the experiences:
- Businesses are represented by individuals, often as customers you will only ever deal with one or two people within an organisation. Your experience with those individuals will largely dictate your opinion on the business as a whole. Businesses need structure and processes in place to function, but key to our success is well trained and motivated individuals.
- If individuals are important, let them be individuals. I would hate the thought that good customer service is dependent on extracting every last ounce of personality from a person.
- In each call centre, both individuals seemed to be well trained and knew their subject but they also displayed a view of the bigger picture. We all have specific areas that we work within and therefore areas of expertise, but everybody needs an appreciation of where they fit into the whole process.
- Interestingly neither of the people on the end of the phone could deal with my problem there and then. However we agreed a plan to resolve the issue and, most importantly, they delivered on it by contacting me back at the agreed time and with the correct information.
None of this is rocket science, neither is it new, but that does not detract from its importance.
I heard about a study completed recently. Two groups of individuals visited a library and were asked a series of questions on various aspects of their experience. The first group were dealt with in a professional but formal way. The only change in the second group was that the librarians within their communication researched and used the visitors’ first name they also touched their hand ( I assume it must have been done in a non-threatening way!). The results of the study were interesting: the second group did not really comment on the communication with the librarian but all of them marked the selection and quality of books better than the first group. The books were exactly the same for both groups. Food for thought.
Here at Plastribution we do not have a large call centre to administer, and whilst the majority of the interaction with our customers is by telephone and email we have long recognised the importance of the individual in the relationship between us and you, our customers. To this end it is over a decade since we set up dedicated teams to look after individual customers; these teams are empowered to meet your needs and accountable for achieving the best possible levels of customer service. We firmly believe that by investing in relationships we can form closer partnerships and that makes for better business.
Enlightened yes, rocket science no!