Customer Service in Difficult Times
The following was written by Passport Software’s President, John Miller, and we hope you find it useful:
It strikes me as ironic that as our online orders arrive faster and faster, automated customer service seems to be slower and slower.
We can order a computer in a couple minutes, but it can take 40 minutes to get through an automated support menu if help is needed with the new computer.
Soon it could actually take longer to get support than it takes to get a product delivered. Ok, that might be an exaggeration.
But, in fact, I have ordered a product that arrived the next day and then had to listen to the “Our menu options have changed. Please listen…” menus and been forced to wade through irrelevant options and having to wait a day or more for resolution.
The online shopping experience has been streamlined and simplified, but can quality customer service ever really be entirely automated?
Quality Customer Service
Usually, the importance of quality support service is directly proportional to the complexity of the product.
And certain types of support are much more time-sensitive than others. I can wait for a day to get a call back on when they will have my choice of shoes in stock.
But if I need to make changes to my payroll and it’s payday today, I can’t wait. I would really like to talk with a live person who knows what to do.
Employee training and experience are expensive to develop. Poorly managed support departments can experience high turn-over due to frustrated staff who are unable to respond to callers who need assistance.
Customer loss can result from lack of assistance. A measure of a quality company could be reflected in the stability and accessibility of their customer service staff.
Customer Service Accessibility
Particularly in difficult times, whether seasonal, such as when compliance reporting deadlines are approaching, or other circumstances, when assistance is needed, responsive and efficient resolution takes on a higher level of importance and value.
And conversely, inefficiency magnifies already stressful circumstances. It is a long-standing policy here that, as much as possible, we answer incoming calls in person and return calls promptly. We don’t have an automated support menu.
Many of our customers know our staff by name, having worked with them in many cases over periods of years, even decades. And our staff know many of our customers’ companies and contacts by name.
In difficult times, it can be comforting to know who to call.
To learn more about how our business software solutions can help your company streamline and grow, call 800-969-7900 M-F from 8:30am-5:00pm central time.
Or, contact us – we are here to help.