Thursday, October 4, 2012

Customer Service Week!

One of the things that I love about being in business us the opportunity to interact with my customers. I mean, I love making soap. I do. But I also like talking to you.

Today though, I had a great customer service moment and in honor of Customer Service week, I wanted to share.

Over the last couple of days there has been a man trying to get in touch with me regarding my Yelp account.

Now, let me preface this by saying that I recently dealt with another company where the call for more information on the account I was setting up turned out to be a sales call. I explained that the costs they were requesting for the service were not in my budget, and the woman on the other line kept pushing more and more payment options. No matter how many times, I told her that the service she was offering was not in my budget, she kept on pushing until I was angry, frustrated, and no longer wanted to do business with the company.

I understand that she has goals to keep, but when someone tells you that they are not interested and give a reason, I firmly believe that you should listen. Heck, I didn't even have to give a reason, I was the customer. Telling her it wasn't in my budget, was a courtesy to her.

Meanwhile, lets talk about Logan over at Yelp. After a couple of days of phone tag, we finally spoke in person. He asked a few questions about my usage of Yelp and then asked me if I had considered advertising. I explained that advertising is not really in my budget right now.

His reply? That he would save us both time and end the call.

I appreciated it. Not only did he save me time by not pursuing a "dead" lead, but he didn't force me to keep telling him "no". I really appreciated that he respected my time, and my feelings by not forcing me to keep turning him down. If I really wanted advertising right now, it wouldn't have been difficult to get me to buy, just like my coworkers didn't have to try very hard yesterday to get me to eat a piece of birthday cake. Because despite my objections, I really wanted that cake.

In my experience, customer service is often more about listening to what your customer wants than actually providing it for them. Most people, even the angry ones, really just want someone to listen to their issues and fix them. And if you can't fix them, find someone who can.

In the cases above, the sales people contacted me. Lets pretend that they were both selling advertising. At some point, I'm going to have that in my budget. When I do, I'm calling Logan.

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