Customer Service is Annoying (Make it Less So) – Total Retail

Dont get me wrong, this post is really about great customer service. There will be tips, too.

But first, a quick update to my readers: In late 2019, after 20 years, I gave up my marketing consulting practice. I was done, burnt out, sick of dealing with C-levels and, most importantly, making them a fortune while having them torture me on my hourly rate and time usage; chase them for payments; challenge my analyses, recommendations and decisions; listen to them ramble; etc.

Interesting. As I wrote in the above paragraph, I realized how much I hate doing my own customer service. Ironic!

So, what does a good marketing consultant do?

I put my money where my mouth was and started an e-commerce company. I had a buddy with a growing business looking to expand, so I joined up as a partner.

Introducing Premo Guard. We make natural, nontoxic bed bug, mite, lice, and flea killers. In the two years since launch, we've grown by triple digits each year. From now on my column will be dedicated to what I've learned as an e-commerce business owner. I have a ton of great insights to share!

OK, On to the Customer Service Story and Tips ...

So, now I manage the marketing and customer service side of the business. And since we're still considered small, I handle a good bit of the customer service myself.

For years, I would tell clients that superior customers service in a social media world can make or break a company. I was right. And now I live or die that motto every day. And it aint easy!

This morning I woke up to three emails from a customer wanting to know when her order would arrive. Why do they even ask that when they get like 200 automated notifications every step of the way? But I digress. She started a live chat with us, but in 30 seconds disconnected while I was responding to her. And finally, she called twice. Both times it went straight to our voicemail (this is a problem we're about to address).

I have a customer who calls me so much she calls me her boyfriend. Since I work at home, and my wife is always lurking, she actually has a good laugh at this.

I have another customer (well, a bunch of them actually) who cannot distinguish between calling a company where people actually work for a living and having a personalized concierge to discuss things with.

Lastly (but certainly not all of my complaints), do people even try to spell and use proper grammar anymore? I spend way too much time trying to decipher what customers mean in emails, texts, chats, etc.

Its a bit much, but, and this is key this is why we're in business.

We help customers deal with bug infestations: bed bugs, mites, fleas, lice, and they're desperate, getting bitten up, not sleeping and generally miserable. And they want to tell you every detail of their lives and how the bugs are affecting them.

Keeping calm and carrying on, some tips for super customer service include the following:

Lastly, when it comes to customer service, even if I hate doing it, I always refer to this quote from the ever-so-wise Peter Drucker: "There's only one valid definition of business purpose to create a customer. Companies are not in business to make things but to make customers."

To me, these are words to live by.

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Customer Service is Annoying (Make it Less So) - Total Retail

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