At a speech I once gave to a local business association, one of the members offered a customer service horror story. He called a local physician practice and wanted to speak with his doctor. They put him on hold, and he waited through several rings. His wife told him to hang up the phone, but he decided to count rings. Finally, 187 rings later, someone answered the phone.
As a customer in any business, I want to get a person on the phone as quickly as possible. I want to pay for an item as quickly as possible. I want to fill out as few papers as necessary to complete a transaction. Consider the following aspects of customer interactions with your business. Make an effort to cut each of the following in half:
- The number of computer screen flips to enter a transaction – Simplifies work for the employee and speeds the process.
- The number of questions asked to open an account – Simplifies effort to the customer and speeds access to your business.
- The number of menus on a phone system – Expedites access to your sales representatives.
- The amount of time to take an order – Speeds closure of a transaction.
- The length of a proposal or contract – Simplifies decision-making to more quickly close business.
- The length of time to reply to a phone call – Shows responsiveness and allows customer to take next action.
- The percentage of time that you speak during a customer service call – Helps you learn more about the customer and establish better rapport.
Cut these in half, and watch your customers’ satisfaction levels rise with quicker and easier access to you and your services.