At FM:Systems, we value customer service highly. In 2017, we scored 98% in customer satisfaction, and we are aiming even higher this year.
Great customer service doesn’t just happen. Like preparing a gourmet meal, it takes planning, focus, and a lot of time. Here’s my recipe.
1 – Energy
If you don’t have it, you’re crippled from the start. With it, you have the fuel to plan, prepare, and deliver great customer service. As a manager of a team, I’ve found it extremely helpful to work together, meeting regularly to talk and collaborate around current challenges. It also helps to eat well and exercise regularly, but I digress…
2 – Responsiveness
Reply to that email right away. Return that phone call. Send a link to an article that can offer help. Responding in a timely fashion is utmost in customer service. Without it, your customers question your commitment and their value to you as a company.
3 – Knowledge
Know your product. Customers aren’t calling to talk about the weather. They are calling you to get help. If you don’t know, find out. Never leave the customer hanging with an “I don’t know.” If the customer wants the software to make them a PB&J sandwich, let them know that you’re sorry you cannot accommodate, but we’d be glad to add it to the enhancement list!
4 – Friendliness
Treat your customers like your best friends – like it’s you on the other end of the line. Have you seen that Credit Card commercial where the customer calls in and it’s their clone answering the call? The agent is friendly and helpful, and gives them a virtual high-five after their shared success. Make that your goal! Oh, and you can’t do that without energy.
5 – Integrity
Do what you say you will do. Nothing is more frustrating than not getting the help you need in the time frame that you need it. If you told the customer you’d get back to them by Friday, call them on Thursday. If you don’t have a solution by Friday, call them on Friday and apologize, and give them a new, realistic but challenging ETA. Which gets us to our next ingredient…
6 – Accountability
When you mess up, ‘fess up. Nobody’s perfect, and nobody should expect others to be perfect. But when you make a mistake, own up to it. Your customers will respect you for it and you’ll have more credibility than if you tried to act like it didn’t happen. Don’t be that guy. That brings us to our next item…
7 – Continual Improvement
Learn from past mistakes. If possible, don’t make the same mistake twice. Document everything! Learn your product, and learn it some more. Learn the 3rd party tools that support your product. Know where to find the extra information quickly.
8 – Offer the Extras
Always end your call with “Is there anything else I can do for you?” or “Can I go over any other questions you have?” Send links to resources, the training catalog, documentation, and maybe that fun cat photo you saw yesterday.
9 – Consistency
Rinse and Repeat – Consistency is what keeps you in business. Like brushing your teeth, you can’t expect to do it once and be done. You’ve got to consistently provide excellent service until you are KNOWN for high quality service.
10 – Personality
We’re all humans and we love to connect to each other. Some like to connect more than others, so know your customers and their inclination for small talk. Ask about their weekend or recent vacation. If they don’t want to chat, they’ll get you back to business quickly.
Serve and enjoy!
My name is Bert Dreifuss. I’m the VP of Customer Support at FM:Systems and I’ve been in customer service for over 20 years. My lifelong goal is to deliver the kind of customer service that brings people back time and time again. If you have any suggestions for the FM:Systems Support Team, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.