“That’s What Keeps Me Up at Night!”

Insomnia Connie Smith wrote a great post about airline service on her recent business trip. From her experiences, she extrapolated the following key custoemr service lessons:

  • Customer service happens at every interaction — from the simple questions of "should I stand in this line?" to the bigger questions of "please help me utilize your services." Your employees’ responses and your reactions make a big impression.
  • Employee empowerment and knowledge is key. There were several times in my travel where simple gestures and empathy from the airline and/or the agent would have made a difference.
  • Every customer, no matter how big or small, is important and valuable. Taking the time to help every customer through their plight improves the customer relationship and can cement customer loyalty.

A while back I was talking to the CEO of a major company. I made the observation that the vast majority of interactions that his customers have with his company happen between relatively inexperienced Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) sitting in a call center thousands of miles away. They are, in most cases, the least paid, least knowledgable, and least "connected" associates in the company – and they are the ones talking to customers.

"That’s what keeps me up at night," he replied.

Believe me, you sleep a lot better when you’re listening and knoweldgabe about what’s happening between your customers and your Company when they call.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and babblingdweeb

  6 comments for ““That’s What Keeps Me Up at Night!”

  1. December 3, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    “They are, in most cases, the least paid, least knowledgable, and least “connected” associates in the company – and they are the ones talking to customers.”
    One would have to think that this line of reasoning, which I believe to be true, would justify companies spending more money connecting valued customers with those with the knowledge they need.
    I have to wonder if there is some correlation between the value companies place upon the employees interacting with their customers and the value they place upon customers. If a company values their customers then they should value the ones who interacts with them through training (QA), compensation, and status. Otherwise, they (management) should be losing that sleep at night.
    PS. Tom you are one smart dude with some great thoughts, observations, rants and raves… very edifying! I wish more companies would invest in the type of QA and training you provide.

  2. December 4, 2007 at 4:10 am

    Thanks, John! You’re right. There are better ways out there. Thanks for reading!

  3. December 4, 2007 at 10:58 am

    My personal thought is that the more money that you spend the worse the customer service. Airlines, cars, mobile phones seem to top the list for poor customer service.
    Also you may want to check the spelling of customer in “following key custoemr service lessons”

  4. December 4, 2007 at 10:59 am

    My personal thought is that the more money that you spend the worse the customer service. Airlines, cars, mobile phones seem to top the list for poor customer service.
    Also you may want to check the spelling of customer in “following key custoemr service lessons”

  5. December 5, 2007 at 10:06 am

    Thanks for the comment and for the catch on the typo (that’s what I get for posting in the wee hours of the morning!). It’s maddening when companies have terrible service but then get some kind of award for their service. Many of these “Customer Service Awards” are more of a scam than anything else. The surveys that underly them are dubious at best.

  6. December 10, 2007 at 10:50 am

    Thanks for the link, Tom. I agree with your final statement: “Believe me, you sleep a lot better when you’re listening and knoweldgable about what’s happening between your customers and your Company when they call.” The voice of the customer can go a long way in helping your company… if you listen!

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