E-Customer Service

posted: Friday, May 4, 2012

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This just in: we live in a world of technology that includes cell phones that can do everything from making a phone call to providing you with directions to your next meeting. We’ve talked about technology before and how it can be so valuable to a salesperson, if used correctly. Today, though, is more of a cautionary tale. While technology is great, it doesn’t replace the basics.

More people than ever are e-mailing, rather than calling. We e-mail everyone, from our doctors to creditors to companies we want to order from. E-mails are wonderful because they are less intrusive and allow people to respond at their convenience. That’s where the problem begins, however. Most companies, at least the good ones, believe in the 24 hour rule which states that all phone calls should be returned within 24 hours. That’s standard customer service. With e-mails,  that doesn’t always happen. Yes, e-mails are less intrusive but they are also easy to ignore.

I was told by my doctor that if I ever needed an answer to a simple question, I could simply e-mail his office manager and they would get right back to me. A couple of weeks ago, I did just that and I still have not received a response. That’s inexcusable! I finally called to get my question answered and told them that I had e-mailed two weeks earlier. I was told that they received to request but were still "researching" the answer. That’s the same answer they provided in 30 seconds over the phone, by the way. The truth is, they either ignored or forgot the e-mail. Again, that cannot happen. If companies started ignoring phone calls, they would be out of business quickly.

E-mails are great and they provide some wonderful benefits, but they have to be used correctly. An e-mail from your customer is just as important as their phone call. If a customer calls in with concerns or questions, the professional salesperson is going to do everything in their power to satisfy that customer. E-mails are no different and should be treated the same way; there should be a response within 24 hours. Technology makes a lot of things easier, but it will never replace the very basics of customer service.

FINAO - Brad Huisken

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