Do You Make Your Customers Do Your Work?

Have you noticed the degree to which you are responsible for doing the work of a customer service representative? Simple example: we sift through the endless automated menus of our vendors instead of someone answering the phone and asking how they can help. Heaven forbid if your question doesn’t fit the menu – 9 times out of 10, you will be disconnected and need to start over.

I don’t know when this microtrend began, but it’s gaining steam. Recently, I requested something from my domain registrar’s tech support department, and it was clear that we were not speaking the same language. I asked the question several different ways, and with a sigh, the rep said, “I’ll explain it to you again for the third time….”

Wow. Imagine my response to their automated email follow up survey!

I’m not writing about this today to gripe about bad customer service, rather as a reminder to make sure that we respond to our clients, customers and patients in ways that provide real value. If we make their issues with our product or service their problem, don’t expect them to stick around.

It’s great to have automation, efficiency and higher productivity, but if it’s at the expense of client relationships, it poses a genuine problem. If our service to our clients isn’t perceived as valuable, it creates a barrier in the relationship.

Think about how you manage client questions and concerns. If your team doesn’t leave them feeling satisfied, over time, your relationship will erode.

Have a great week, and for those of you in the U.S., enjoy the Fourth of July weekend!

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