If you’re in business your customers are everything. They pay for your services, they make you a profit and for all intents and purposes – they pay your bills.
So why is it so often that we come across just stupidly awful customer support? Laziness. More often than not customer support staff are paid minimum wage, have long hours and just couldn’t care less if your electricity bill is €70 more expensive than it should be. They’re not paid to deal with these things, oh wait…they are. I can sympathise with them. Long hours, not great pay, stuck in an office with a bunch of people who probably irritate you and dealing with customers who are probably not the happiest bunch of people in the world - it’s not the nicest of places to be.
Thankfully I am starting to see a change, but only in one sector; the online/tech sector. I will later tell you some simply awesome customer support I went through from two tech/online related, but first I want to talk about some pretty awful ones. Recently I was over charged on my electricity bill, by €70. The house was vacant for two months. I had recently moved and was trying to sell this one. The electricity company decided to “guess” what my bill would be rather than send a guy round to check the meter and well a week later and a bill through the door I was on the phone to customer support pretty quick. After twenty minutes of being on hold, and subsequently charged for the call too, I got through to a very arrogant man who was not in the slightest bit helpful.
Now let’s compare that experience with what happened to me when I bought a WordPress theme for a website I was recently working on. I bought the theme, which was $40 so it didn’t set me back too much, I installed it and somewhere along the line I realised that something was wrong. I got on to customer support and told them the issue I was having and within an hour I had a solution, a document to guide me through the process and support on IM. Not only did I get my issue resolved, I was so impressed I went out of my way to mention these guys on my various social networks, emailed a link to all my WordPress friends and even giving them a very nice review on the website I bought the theme. The review thing is a lot more impressive when I tell you I have been working with WordPress for four years and I have never wrote a single review or rated one until last week.
The other amazing service I had was from the folks over at Otterbox. I managed to get my hands on a free code at an event for one of their cases, however they didn’t have a case for my phone and the small print on the card said I couldn’t get a case for a tablet – which put my Nexus 7 case idea out of play. I put this on twitter and nearly as soon as I put it up I had someone from the company on to me and now I have a case in the post. Amazing service from them, and I was not even a ‘paying’ customer. I put paying in brackets there because I may not have paid, but I will be driving business their way. They had such an amazing impact on me. I am talking about them here aren’t I?
This is what amazing customer support does, especially to me. Maybe it’s because we’re so used to terrible customer support that when we come across any that is half decent we jump in joy. That said the two examples I gave above were not “half decent”, they were fantastic no doubt about it. This says one thing to me; get good customer service. If you had good customer service maybe you’d be one of the two examples I gave above rather than the electricity company.
Make an impact. Be the one that everyone looks at and says, “wow”. Be impressive and don’t be an asshole. These are your customers, treat them well - it's worth the trouble.