Hidden Jewels Of Customer Service, Part 1

Portable Empire island at Second Life, was the scene of a
not
so formal interview between the avatars of Mooie Infinity
(Kate Loving Shenk)
and Magic Becky Messmer (Becky Rhone-Nowlan), fellow
Second Life pal
and Customer Service expert.

Becky’s first e-book, “Secrets of the Second Fortune” will
be released
in the next several weeks.

Mooie Infinity: Great place to do an interview, (sitting
by the
beautiful lavender fountain, overlooking Portable Empire
Island).

MagicBecky Messmer: I agree 🙂

Mooie Infinity: So I would start out by saying: that
Customer
Service is one of the most overlooked treasures business
could
be engaging in. But they sadly shirk it.

Since you have been in the CS (Customer Service) field and
have
great reverence for it, I think you are one of the best
people
to ask some serious Customer Service questions to.

Why do you think businesses shirk intelligent Customer
Service?

MagicBecky Messmer: In many cases I think it’s because
most people
perceive it as difficult.

It means they have to actually take the time to
communicate with the customer.

How many people today really know how to listen?

Mooie Infinity: Do you think the problem is that
communication skills are lacking?
Listening being a big one there?

MagicBecky Messmer: In many cases, yes. I think we have become a me/me
society and that plays a lot into it.
For whatever reason, we have stopped taking responsibility-
and taking responsibility seriously.
I had an issue with a well known marketer and his CS guys
whole communication was about how it wasn’t his fault I had this problem.

At that point I didn’t care. I just wanted it solved.

He finally said he was done with me because i was
uncooperative and sent it to the marketer.

Mooie Infinity: So when businesses refuse to take
responsibility and blame the
customer, then that’s when the whole thing falls apart?

MagicBecky Messmer: Of course. It takes so little to
really make
your customers your fan.

With the guy I was having a problem with, up until he said
he was done
with me, he still could have won me over.
All he would have had to do was say, I understand why you
are
angry and this is what i am going to do.

In fact, I had a customer call today because she hadn’t
received her records
and one of the other reps said that I was going to have to
do a little
song and dance when explaining why we hadn’t shipped them.

I got on the phone and said Pat, I am very sorry. For some
reason
the records haven’t shipped. Let me send an email and see
what I can
do to get you an answer and get them shipped to you asap.

My number is (and i gave her my number). I will personally
make sure this
gets taken care of. If you don’t have them by Monday at
noon call me.
She was ecstatic! No muss no fuss.

The other rep said, Wow! Just straight forward truth! Cool!

Mooie Infinity: That is going the extra mile–the buck
stops here sort of
philosophy–and we need more of that.

MagicBecky Messmer: It’s all about intention, which goes
back to responsibility.

As long as you tell them “what you are going to do to
solve the problem”
and then make sure you do it, of course.

I think it’s because you are showing trust in them.

Most people will pick up on that

Mooie Infinity: Yes–so CS service is outsourced routinely
these days.
Why is this such a trend?

MagicBecky Messmer: Real quick point and then to your
question.
The CEO I learned service from, had a real liberal return
policy
and we paid for return freight.

Someone asked him once, Aren’t you worried that the
customers will abuse the policy?

His answer was, Yes, some will.

Mooie Infinity: Most won’t

MagicBecky Messmer: But more will appreciate that we are
taking care
of them and those are the customers that are important to
me.

Mooie Infinity: Creating friends and relationships, not
enemies.

MagicBecky Messmer: Exactly! And it works.

Mooie Infinity: Fans as you say.

MagicBecky Messmer: As for the outsourcing? That’s an
easy answer with multiple layers.

It’s about money, the almighty dollar.

Mooie Infinity: When you outsource, you barely pay them
anything to do the job?

MagicBecky Messmer: Companies here in the US don’t have to
pay them much,
a few dollars an hour- you don’t have to pay benefits and
you don’t
have workman’s comp insurance.

In addition you don’t have a building to pay upkeep and
monthly bills on.

Mooie Infinity: I have had experience talking to these
outsourced CS
people and it’s been a nightmare–communication at its
worst. And I got the feeling that the language barrier was
at the heart of the problem.

MagicBecky Messmer: The sad thing is, the people who lose
out is the customer,
and of course ultimately the company when customers stop
doing business cause they are angry.

Mooie Infinity: Yes–in the end you go out of business.

MagicBecky Messmer: The company I work for has a group of
people we
“affectionately” call the I team.

Can you guess what the I stands for?

Mooie Infinity: Intelligent?

MagicBecky Messmer: Yeah. It’s a constant struggle trying
to read the notes.
And then the things they interpret as what I have asked
gets ludicrous.

I had one location that had never
returned a call
and this was after months of our I team leaving messages.
So I called and left a message and got a return call the
next day. She
said the reason she called me back is she could understand
me.

She said she would rewind the message over and over and
just had no clue
what was being said.

You are right. It’s a quick fix that will come back to
bite them.
I think what you said earlier is really right on.

People are getting sick and tired of trying to communicate
with people who
don’t speak the language fluently or even well.

Mooie Infinity: Computer services routinely outsource
their customer
service. Apple does not and they have wonderful CS.

Comcast has good customer service. Credit card companies
make it
almost impossible to get any help.

We had a computer system
at our
hospital called Iprob.

One of the major reasons we had to abandon the system was
very poor customer service. Again, a language slash communication
barrier.

All the CS people were in Israel were very difficult to
understand. Also
were not always available.

MagicBecky Messmer: When a customer is irritated because
something has
gone wrong, the last thing they want to do is to try to
explain it
to someone who flat doesn’t understand.

The whole point of problem resolution is to calm the
customer down so
they can hear what you have to say.

Which by the way brings up the difference between customer
service and
problem resolution.

Mooie Infinity: Customer service and problem resolution?
Explain.

To be continued…..

-=-=-=-=-=-=–=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Kate Loving Shenk is a writer, healer, musician and the creator
of the e-book called “Transform Your Nursing Career and Discover
Your Calling and Destiny.” The book is designed to stimulate
nurses to love their work and to prevent on-the-job-burnout.
Click here to find out how to order the e-book:
http://www.nursingcareertransformation.com
-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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Published in: on November 6, 2007 at 2:14 pm  Comments (1)