Would you look at that? It appears I put off my favorite Phone.com service standard to the last. Since starting Communicate Better Blog a little over a year ago, I have fallen in love with companies like Zappos, Nordstrom and Ritz-Carlton. These companies have made a name for themselves by being legendary in the world of customer service. They are so amazing, in fact, that their legend spans across a variety of industries. Why else would a telecommunications company take advice from a company that sells shoes?
Now before you start thinking that customer service is isolated to one department within Phone.com, allow me broaden your view of customer service. If customer service is merely isolated to the people answering your calls, emails and chats, we will miss the mark we are striving for 100 percent. Caring customer service must permeate the entire organization, inside and out, from top to bottom, in order to achieve our goal of being awesome. Here are five ways we achieve caring customer service at Phone.com.
1. Connecting With Our Customers: Taking a cue from Zappos, we promote personal, emotional connections with our customers. Our customer service staff is encouraged to use soft skills such as empathy, honesty and transparency to achieve this. We would rather have slightly longer handle times in customer service to allow our team to show they genuinely care and resolve support issues completely in the process. The unique thing about Phone.com is that people in all levels and departments within the company have been known to get on the phone with customers and connect with them!
2. Customer Appreciation: We have a customer appreciation station in our office specifically designed for anyone in our company to write a note of appreciation or encouragement to a customer. Thursdays are “Thank you Thursdays” where everyone is reminded to send a thank you to at least one customer. The gesture of following up after an interaction with a customer really goes the extra mile to let customers know we truly do care.
3. Committing To Our Customers: Vala Afshar, Chief Marketing Officer at Extreme Networks says, “The customer’s problem is ours until it’s no longer theirs.” Caring customer service takes ownership of each and every situation you are faced with, and doesn’t relinquish ownership until the problem is truly solved.
4. Listening To Our Customers: It is essential to listen to customers so we can learn how to better care for them. We send surveys daily to every customer who interacts with us throughout that day. We are careful to read through and respond to every piece of feedback that we receive to show our customers that their concerns never fall on deaf ears.
5. Caring Internal Customer Service: We promote caring internal customer service at Phone.com. We consider all of the people we interact with on a daily basis to be our customers. Everyone within the company is encouraged to apply all of the aforementioned caring customer service values to all of their customers both internal and external. Furthermore, we believe that the people serving our customers will only treat them as well as they are treated. If you aren’t directly serving customers, you are likely serving someone who is, and it is critical to provide them with caring customer service as well.
By combining our service standards of quality, accessibility, value, choice and now caring customer service, we are striving toward awesomeness at Phone.com!