This Week’s Very Short Story
The Customer Experience and Problem Solving
In my experience, these two ideas stopped dating around the year 2000. Until that time, their relationship spawned happy customers willing to thank you for the help offered and the job done – to everyone’s satisfaction. Product went to customer, profit to seller.
Yesterday, a friend with a broken leg and food allergies was looking for some customer service. She had ordered groceries, lots, for delivery to her building. COVID days mean delivery to the lobby only which is fair enough. She explained she had a broken leg and could the groceries be divided into smaller parcels rather than the usual big box, so she could pick them up herself. She was put on hold. The news she got was that her order had been cancelled and her money refunded. It was not the boss or the owner who made this decision. No one’s problem was solved. The seller’s experience was as unrewarding as the purchaser’s, who has also decided to shop somewhere else.
Training in problem solving when dealing with customers, seems to be no where on the list these days. That’s got to affect profits. There’s so much competition in every field, you’d think that customer experience and retention through the simple act of service, would be at the top of the list.
Teach employees tons about the company: what you do, how you do it, the products, the goal. Invite them in to represent you. There’s more to it than taking payment and sending e-mails. And, because so many of the front-line people are young, they need to be taught about the finer points of dealing with others. I had that training and I relied on it. Teach them how to speak to customers. Problem solving is very rewarding and it’s great when it comes with profit too. Underfunding and MORE technology – not the answer.
Yes, there are also difficult customers – which is the focus of the next “This Week’s Very Short Story”.