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Customer Service Mistakes for $1000, Alex

11th October 2007

Customer Service Mistakes for $1000, Alex

Part of my job at EnMart is to oversee the customer experience.  Because of that, I’m always notice when customer service is done well, and when it is done poorly.  In each case I try and figure out how I can take what I’ve learned and apply it to the customer service our companies provide.  Over the years I’ve discovered what I like to call the “Customer Service Mistakes”.  These phrases, and the actions that accompany them, are something you will never see from us.

 Mistake #1: “Your business is very important to us.  Thank you for your patience. ” – Anyone who has been on hold trying to contact a customer service representative has probably heard this phrase a thousand times.  At EnMart,  we believe that you shouldn’t have to wait on hold unless you are being transferred to another department, or we are researching some information for you.  Even then, we try to limit on hold time as much as we can.  Virtually every call is answered by a real, live human, or is directed to our general mailbox where you can leave us a message.   Your business is very important to us and, for that reason, we don’t think you should have to be patient when calling to place an order or ask a question.

Mistake #2: “The Customer is Always Right, (Except When We’re Cranky)” – We recently had an experience with a printing company we use quite frequently.  They sent us some printing we had ordered and the majority of what we received was practically unusable.  So, my designer contacted the company to request a refund or a reprint.  After waiting on hold for over half an hour (see Mistake #1), she finally got to speak to a human.  She explained the problem and requested a solution.  The customer service representative’s response was as follows: “So I guess I should just take your word for it that the printing is bad?”  Big, big mistake!  If your stated policy is the customer is always right, then the customer is always right.   Arguing over a complaint generally isn’t worth the amount of business you’ll lose as a result.  Besides, as my designer commented, “Am I really going to stay on hold listening to bad music if I’m trying to scam the company?”  Always, always give the customer the benefit of the doubt.

Mistake #3:  “We Want to Hear From You (Good Luck Figuring Out How to Contact Us).” – Good customer service means being available to your customers when they need you.  Contact information should be clearly available on all company material, whether printed or on the Internet.  Many companies, however, make finding their contact information into a kind of treasure hunt.  Often they only have one method of contacting them available.   To provide the best customer service possible you have to talk, and listen, to your customers.  If your customers can’t contact you, they can’t talk to you. It’s that simple.

In today’s marketplace, good customer service often seems to be more the exception than the rule.  At EnMart and the other Ensign Group Companies, our goal is to provide knowledgeable, prompt and friendly customer service.  We truly value our customers and want to do our very best to serve them. 

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