I’ve just got off the phone with a friend and client, Richard Dix of Rural Broadband. We were discussing the new services he’s offering in satellite broadband and ADSL connections and how to plan for possible problems that could arise.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but not planning for problems with any product or service is actually planning for failure – the failure of the experience you will give to customers.
It was apparent as we went through different examples that most companies don’t have a system to respond to and solve problems as they crop up. Either specific and known potential problems or the unknown, yet to be experienced snafu.
Richard is differentiating his business by offering oustanding service, a pleasurable customer experience and prompt responses, all backed by a guarantee. So we were exploring how that should be reflected in prepared responses to possible problems, both how to fix the problem and to restore the experience of the customer.
I’m always impressed by any individual or company who tells me how they’re going to fix a problem and what they’re going to do to make me a happy customer. That is outstanding customer service and yet we see so little of it. Richard is putting procedures in place to ensure this is what he will deliver consistently.
Companies that really screw up are the ones that either have no idea that they’re ruining their customer’s experience or they do know and, for some reason, don’t care (perhaps they have a monopoly). So they take their time fixing problems or they don’t even try and certainly make no effort to make amends to the customer. I bet this sounds familiar to many of you.
A company that delivers outstanding customer service has a unique sales message to deliver. Why not make it central to its marketing?
A great company slogan would be “If we screw up, your next month is free”.
This would tell me all I need to know – the company is looking to solve problems because they will cost them hard cash which they will put in my pocket if I have a problem . When a company lives and breathes this service, not merely scripting the response, it will have my undying devotion.
Do you know of any companies that make such a promise?