Customer Service shouldn't be about rules, it should be about winning. Everything is fair game!
This past week I was traveling and had the chance to experience both repulsive and exceptional customer service. I thought it might be a good time to dust off a presentation I give to large and small corporations and offer up the high points. I call it "Break the Rules...And WIN!"
The major focus of this presentation is that individuals, not corporations, create the non-rules of exceptional customer service. The company may set the need for the culture shift...but we (the employees) make it FUN! So, let's break some rules:
Rule One: "The Customer is Always Right." WRONG! Throw that out...now! The customer is always right in his/her mind. Sometimes the customer is so far off base with their request or issue it is laughable. BUT, who cares? To them it is a major issue. It might not be a major issue later in the day, or tomorrow or even next week. But right now it is. Our job...fix it. Then, write down the problem, complaint or trouble and at the next meeting with your boss...bring it up. Maybe there is a way to fix the problem for everybody. But, if you don't talk about it...nobody else knows. Here's a bonus...if you fix the issue...the customer will talk about it for days. If you don't...they may never talk to you again.
Rule Two: "Ask Permission Up the Ladder." So, you want to torpedo your customer service? Alright...go ahead...take that customer problem, issue or complaint to your boss for action. While you are doing that...let the customer stand, sit or wait on the phone for an answer. Break this rule now. Guess what...you get the problem...you get to fix it. And, if for some reason you can not take ownership of the problem...ACT LIKE YOU CAN! Remember, the customer doesn't care who does the fix...they just want it fixed.
Rule Three: "Create a "Customer Service Department"." Stop me...I am laughing so hard right now...I am about to fall off the chair! Don't you love it when you call a business and ask for "Customer Service" and you get anything but? Yeah...it's great when the phone rings and the person says, "Customer Service, how can I help you?" I usually start out by saying, "Hey there Customer, how the heck are you doing today?" At this point the phone goes dead.... This is too fun and I encourage you to try it. Bottom line....use your NAME and never say, "Customer Service". The "Customer Service Department" is usually a stall or a place where somebody can sell you something else. Sucks.
Cut to the chase...this presentation runs an hour and you ain't got the time right now. So, here you go.... When dealing with the public you will run into all kinds of wacky issues and you'll find that most of them can't be handled with a three inch thick procedure manual. (By the way, find the company that has one of those...and you will find a company that is sinking.) Rules no longer matter...action does.
Come on...prove me wrong?