The customer is our hero …

Posted 03/09/2018 by Rachel James, Consulting Services Director

Rachel James, TWC’s Consulting Services Director talks about the customer being our hero.

‘Set expectation, and over deliver…’ appears to be the secret to service success!

Roger Staubach once said “There are no traffic jams along the extra mile” and Richard Branson’s ethos at Virgin was to set realistic customer expectations, and then not just meet them, but exceed them – preferably in unexpected and helpful ways…

Increasingly, traditional corporations are organised for efficiency. That means ‘process’, ‘systems’ and ‘KPI’s’. But, let’s not overlook the humanity aspect which lifts us all into a different hemisphere when interacting with customers, suppliers and stakeholders. For example, how about; ‘inspiration’, ‘delight’, ‘surprise’, all those little things which can make a big difference to how we are seen and perceived and makes engagement pleasurable.

There is no price you can put on excellent customer service, or a value high enough that you can put on having a happy client. It may take time, or relate to something you have not factored into the relationship, but if you have committed to do something that is right for the relationship, then why not do it – and do it willingly and fast, creating goodwill and longevity?

One question, I often get asked in our own business is the question of whether ‘technology businesses’ are seen as faceless and remote. And certainly, they can be. Personalised support costs more money than remote helpdesks.

Amazon is a case in point – fantastic sales service and helpful online response, but when queries or problems creep in and you need a human interface, it is a challenge to even find a telephone number, let alone reach an operator who can help answer a query. Businesses need to be easy to reach – making it straightforward to resolve the issue. For example, I recently telephoned a mainstream financial service provider wanting to buy a policy and yes – give them money, (you would think this would be greeted with enthusiasm). Reality was it took them 18 minutes to answer the phone in the first place. How does that support their sales strategy or deepen a client relationship?

How many of us have asked a question of our business suppliers or in our retail shopping experiences or travel? And how many times has the response been zero or a non-answer!

Here at TWC we have an expression; “the black hole” for where you make a request from a business and it is ignored or it takes 3 weeks to generate a response which then often does not answer the question and by which time you have solved the issue in another way or simply moved on. Is it so hard to immediately respond with acknowledgement and then follow through with answer even if it has to be an unfavourable answer to a difficult question? Avoidance is surely the poorest customer service of all…!

Here at TWC, we don’t view ourselves as a tech company per se – we are an interface for non-technical people and we don’t charge for our service time. If people need assistance, they want to talk to a human being and be communicated with in a manner they understand. Surely, it is more important that a customer is given 30 minutes and has a seamless and positive experience rather than spending 30 minutes on a technical platform to have no resolution of their issue – at which point they give up never to return….

It comes back to whether you are ‘easy to do business with’ or ‘difficult to do business with’, and in our own case, where we have a closed community of customers and stakeholders, we believe that service should be centric to each customer.

For us, that means understanding individual business needs, appreciating that our clients’ are investing into external resources (us) so our services must deliver a return on that investment and supporting our clients to optimise their use of our systems is pivotal to facilitating pay-back.

It means we are here, when our customers need us, at the end of a line and most importantly, we do what we say we will and think to the ‘beyond’ – whether in training, in creating bespoke software variations to meet their needs and to make their lives easier.

Business should be rewarding, enjoyable and seamless. Let’s all work to put a bit more ‘delight’ back into our daily professional lives and head down the fast lane of that extra mile with nothing between us but service and success…..

Ok, lets get together…

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