‘Do unto others’ is a great rule to apply to all businesses. It’s good customer service and smart marketing. Treat people with respect, and they will respect you. If you treat them poorly, they will find they don’t need you.
The scenario: A customer calls to complain they have been overbilled by $10 every month for two years, and they have the paperwork to prove it. Your company can easily see he is correct, but you have a policy of crediting bills for only up to six months. Your company would have to refund $240. In a monotone voice, your customer service representative tells the customer they will not do the refund, and to pay their bill, or service will be interrupted… In essence to go pound sand.
The common solution: Do everything you can to beat down the customer’s will and keep their money, without regard for retaining their business.
The better solution: Give them their money back without any fight whatsoever. If you know you are wrong, don’t fight about it, and you will keep a happy customer. If you have documentation which clearly shows the customer is wrong, prove it by sending it to them, with no disrespect or fighting.
For anyone thinking your company would not treat customers to the above scenario, you would be surprised at how common this policy is for large corporations. Telecoms and cable companies in particular are famous for it (what a terrible thing to be famous for!), as well as banks and mortgage companies.
Good customer service is good marketing. It’s a rule to thrive by.
Kelly Hobkirk - teaching marketers how to harness strategy, goals, reality, and purpose to connect and do better work.
Kelly Hobkirk has been helping companies succeed in creative ways for nearly 25 years. His work has been featured in Time Magazine, and books by Rockport and Rotovision. Get exclusive articles when you sign up for his monthly newsletter.