What’s happened to customer service?

By Ray Pinard | March 22, 2013

I called a medical service provider to set up an appointment, my first visit. The lady making the arrangements dutifully went by the book asking me some basic information and setting up an appointment.

She then said “There is some paperwork to fill out and you can do it tomorrow or go to our web site www whatever (her foreign accent made her difficult to understand), go to the bottom of the page, click on (could not understand), print that document and fill it out at home.” I said “Can I give you a customer service tip? Why don’t you ask for my email and send me the forms via email and I will print them out and complete them.” I’m sure you can see this coming, she said “BECAUSE WE HAVE NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE” (emphasis added). “So, are you going to send me the forms or do you want me to fill them out at the office tomorrow” I asked. “Fill them out tomorrow,” she replied. I clearly caught her, and the organization, outside of their comfort zone. She probably doesn’t even know how to attach a form to an email.

I, like you, am sick and tired of the lousy customer service we get from 95% of the businesses out there. The moral of the story here? Is your business in the 95%, or are you in the 5% that makes it special for someone to do business with you? It is not that difficult. The 5% will get the referrals and their businesses will thrive.

P.S. About 30 minutes after my initial phone call, the lady I had spoken with called to tell me that she has spoken to the owner and she would be sending me the forms by email before close of business. The moral of the story here is make sure all your employees share the same expectations regarding customer service. The entire organization needs to be on the same page.

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