The Carnivale of Customer Serviceis going on again over at CustomersAreAlways. Maria Palma does a wonderful job, as usual, of collecting posts on customer service that make me think. Plus, she has included one of my recent posts, Customer Language, in the Carnivale! Here is a short preview of what you will see when you go. Be sure to tell Maria I said hello!
The first entry comes from The Fish Creek House, a Bed and Breakfast inn located in Montana. It is a 13-step checklist on customer service for innkeepers. However, I found a number of the steps equally applicable to other businesses as well! A lot of them have to do with understanding the customer experience. Our blog host explains you should frequent your inn (or place of business) as one of your customers would. I especially like this item:
11. Run your inn to suit your guests-not the other way around. Your policies should reflect the needs of guests before those of innkeepers (i.e. breakfast menus and serving times, check-in times, cancellation policies, and so on).
The next Carnivale entry comes from Service Untitled with an overview of some great posts from Seth Godin on customer service. He highlights Seth’s post on apologies (which I also linked to awhile back here), as well as a post on re-thinking customer service (also from Seth). Seth recommends avoiding real-time calls so one can better plan for asynchronous service. I think that is an option for some types of service, but in other instances, a quick response is necessary (ie. business is losing money for every minute they are without a technical solution). What might work would be a combo of this: provide asynchronous service gratis, then charge for immediate service. What do you think?
The third entry is from Meikah at CustServ. In her post, she shares insights gained from the recent Business Weekarticle on top customer service companies. Meikah points out that a lot of their success comes from going “back to basics” for customer service. She says,
All it takes is to listen, be attentive to the customers’ needs, and to always let that human nature in you reach out, which is innately helpful, compassionate, and empathetic.
Her insights are great as well. Side note: Business Week originally had JetBlue on their list, then pulled them off after the recent bump in the road. The poll on Business Week’s site asks whether readers feel they should have done that. Over 80% of readers voted that Business Week should have left JetBlue on the list. I agree! Yes, they had a very poor experience for their customers, but I don’t feel this has completely negated years of excellent operations, customer service, and comfy planes. I will fly them again, as will many others I have spoken with.
The fourth entry comes from Phil Gerbyshak at MakeItGreat!, where he posts on the use of response in customer service. Phil, I think you are becoming a customer service blogger! Check out his post for more details.
Finally, the last entry was mine, already mentioned above.
(Photo credit: dbviragoat stockxpert.com)