30 March 2011
As soon as I started this post I was informed that I've used this title before. What can I say - I'm passionate about good customer service!
What I'm wondering today is what this means to you. One of the best lessons I ever learned in customer service was when I spent a few years working for a major national mortgage company. Their policy was that all calls and emails were returned within 24 hours. If a client complained that their call or email was not returned, I was one of the people who researched to make sure a call or email was received, and then looked to find an outgoing call or email to the same client. If that original call or email was actually not returned within 24 hours, that was grounds for termination of the employee.
That's right - if you didn't return someone's call or email with 24 hours you could be (and frequently would be) fired. Period.
Some people thought that wasn't 'fair.' Huh? I think it's a wonderful model and I still follow it. Even my husband agrees that if you get a message and set it aside to answer 'later', it will usually never be addressed.
It now drives me crazy when I send emails asking for information, or leave phone messages if that's a recommended contact, and I never hear back. I'm not talking about people I want to do business with me. If I don't hear back, I can take a hint ;) I'm talking about people who are supposed to be there to support my business, or people who have solicited me for a project or program. It really makes me not want to be affiliated with them, because I can only assume they treat the rest of their clients the same.
What is your criteria for continuing to do business with someone in regard to customer service?