Customer Care: A Personal Experience
Jacky and the fear of the phone shop ...
My mobile phone broke last Thursday. My first thoughts were not suitable for a public blog post. Then I remembered that replacing my phone was on my to-do list anyway ...
Nooooo! My phone's broken! I don't want to go to the phone shop!
copyright: akz / 123rf stock photo (licensee)
However, I could still feel the irritation and a touch of anxiety. Upgrading my technology has actually been necessary for some time now. On a personal level, it all moves so fast that it is easy to get so out of date that catching up can be difficult.
"You start feeling like your grandma who can't even switch the television on anymore!"
On a business level, we've been updating our whole communication systems with our rebranding to become more responsive to our clients and prospects. My old phone meant I couldn't even contribute at the first level by using an app to capture information from business cards.
I was perversely proud of just using my phone to talk to people! In reality, I had been putting it off with a load of excuses when the reality was that I just hate the whole experience of buying and setting up new technology.
I wrote about my almost pathological inability to learn new systems a few weeks ago. Oh God, I've got to go through that again! Yet more getting to grips with navigating around a new system, different icons to learn, new apps to figure out. I was already telling myself I couldn't cope with this. Then I stopped myself and thought of another of my pet hates. Young teenage girls slouching against the wall chewing gum and swiping intently on their phones.
"Well, come on woman, if they can master smartphones, so can you!"
In reality, the real reason I hadn't upgraded was the whole experience of visiting the phone shop. Yes, I am sure I could have bought one online, but remember I did just tell you that I have an aversion to technology and I certainly wasn't going to buy something as fundamental as this without physically handling it and checking it out. And I needed it right now, this minute, for my business. But ugh ... the phone shop!
I knew what it was going to be like. Some spotty youth with too many tattoos and a ring through his nose was going to bamboozle me with technobabble. Then he'll patronise me for not understanding anything he just said and call me "Dear" with a patronising sneer. Then I would really feel like his grandma who couldn't switch on one of those new-fangled television sets.
"Isn't it funny how we build up monsters
in our head?"
The reality, I am pleased to report, was entirely different, and I actually quite enjoyed the experience. A very pleasant young man, with no spots, no rings through his nose and no visible tattoos took me through a process of confirming that the phone I had chosen was right for me and would do what I wanted it to do.
I'm not daft, so I had prepared myself with information about different phones both online and got an opinion from a couple of people I trust. He answered all my questions in plain English rather than techspeak without a hint of patronisation and never called me "Nan" once.
Within the hour, I not only had a new phone but it was set up, and, within three hours, it was under my existing number. OMG (that's the teenage girl influence), now I can look at my emails when I'm out and about and they're synced to my laptop and loads more. It is all so easy to use, and I already love it.
"Why on earth didn't I upgrade ages ago?"
My reflections on this were about the value of excellent customer service and sales technique by this young man. He had learnt his trade. Yes, he knew his products, but more importantly he knew how to treat his customer the way she wanted to be treated. As a result, he actually gave me more than a mobile phone, he gave me confidence in the technology.
There is a little epilogue to this story that I just have to share with you and explains why I have chosen not to share with you this young man's name or identify the shop.
At the end of the sales process, he asked me if there was anything else I needed to know and then asked if I was satisfied with his service. Having established that I was, he told me that in a couple of days time I'd get a text asking me to rate his service. I would need to give him a score of 0 to 10, where 10 was excellent. "That's fine I thought.
Then he said that the company rated anything less that 9 as not good enough and it would count against him, so would I be willing to give him a 9 or 10?
"When the survey arrived guess
what score he got?"
The only thing he forgot to do was ask for referrals so I will do that for him. If you're buying a new phone, want some sound advice and are looking for excellent customer service, then let me know.
Until next time ...
I help people build and maintain productive working relationships both with their work colleagues and with a wider network to win more business. I do this by combining my skills in coaching, mediation and training with my extensive experience in senior management.
What I love most about my work is when my clients get those “aha” moments because I know they have seen for themselves the way that they want to move forwards. Then they will achieve their ambitions.
Helping people who are having challenges with their working relationships gives me enormous pleasure. It was my privilege when working in health care to see how people working together can make the impossible seem easy and accomplish miracles as a result.
So helping people build or restore strong relationship with their colleagues makes even the hardest work easier, alleviates distress for the individual and reduces problems for the whole organisation.
In all this work trust is an essential ingredient to winning business so most of my work comes through referrals. Referrals come through strong business relationships so it was a natural extension for me to work with Ascentiv and train others in how to get consistent and predictable referrals from their network.
What a fantastic way to earn a living!