Patti had had enough. Her cable was out, so she called the cable company, and after holding for close to 20 minutes, she got a call center representative on the phone.
After sharing the problem with the employee, Patti was told that the cause of the issue was in the home. She was told several different steps to take to reboot, reconfigure, or reset her system. Nothing worked.
Unbeknownst to Patti, at the same time, roughly 20 neighbors were also interacting with the cable company, dealing with the exact same issue, and the solutions weren’t working for any of them.
It’s probably apparent to you now what was happening. The 20+ customers couldn’t fix the issues in their homes because the issue wasn’t in their homes. The issue was cable-related outside the homes. Initially, the cable company didn’t know it, so – initially – they wasted their time and the time of the customers in trying to have the customers resolve the unresolvable issue.
Sometimes to see what should be done, we have to look at an example of what should not have been done.
Let’s flip this script.
What if the cable was never down? Or if it was down, what if the company would have sent a notification to customers sharing the concern and the action they were taking to investigate – with a time set for the next communication?
What if Patti called, but the wait was less than one minute, and the employee greeted with a name and an immediate understanding of the issue based on the phone number calling? The employee knew about the communication the company had sent, was empathetic, patient, and apologetic. What if the employee explained the process of researching the issue, provided typical resolution timelines (or at least reasonable expectations), and promised a follow-up e-mail at the customer’s request?
One interesting and easy way to envision great customer service is to first envision or discuss a horrible experience. Break down what went wrong, and then build up an example experience that would illustrate what it would have looked like had everything gone right.
To get better, flip the script.