What is customer service? We think the composition of the words is actually misleading as it should really read “servicing customers” with the priority on the service. As a small business owner, you should ask yourself: Do we train adequately on customer service? Where does it sit on our corporate values? How do our resources align with its place on our value chain? These are all questions that surfaced in our discussions with regards to our intention of how service should play a role at PaySimple. If you raise these questions, though, you’d better be prepared to address them–as you might be surprised by the answers. In our experience, we have found three components that are critical to creating raving fans through our service. They are simple, but go a long way:
- Don’t just listen to what clients say, but hear them.
- Have empathy. We’ve all needed customer service, so assume you’re helping your neighbor or grandmother.
- Make communication as high a priority as the resolution. If you can’t resolve the issue today, then be proactive in letting the customer know that.
More often than not, when we pass along the customer service reigns to team members, we ask them to listen to the issues and work diligently to resolve them. Listening, however, is only one step. For when we really take the time to hear a customer’s feedback, the impact can be well beyond the one issue at hand. We’ve made improvements to our own customer service – and here’s what you think: We want you to know that we are listening. We have recently implemented a trouble ticket and survey system to get feedback for each support issue. To date, we have found:
- You think we passionately take ownership of an issue and effectively resolve it 82% of the time.
- You think we complete issues in a timely manner 78% of the time
- You think we are 82% effective in respecting your time and following up.
- We close 90% of support issues within 24 hours.
We appreciate the feedback and pride ourselves in improvement and growth, which we will share via posting on our website – hopefully illustrating the outcome of our listening skills. If you have contacted us in the last few months, you may notice the way we answer the phone is slightly different. Although feedback is mixed, our aim is to answer each call authentically and prepared to assist you to our best ability. In a recent Wall St. Journal small business article, a customer who visited our office referred to us as “hippy-ish and reminiscent of the dotcom startups of the late 90s.” Wow, if we can establish a reputation of providing Peace, Love, and Payment Processing, we’d consider ourselves pretty successful. Maybe it’s not so much that we’re “hippy-ish,” but that Passion, Authenticity and Happiness are foundations of our company values.