Customer service: Are you doing it right?

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I think it is very clear that customer service is an incredibly key part to have nailed when running a business. After all, for all intents and purposes without customers there is no businesses and what do customers expect – good service!

So why have so many people got this very basic relationship ingredient wrong?

I have recently had two very different experiences with customer services – one good and one bad, I will start with a bad case of customer service to follow with the good to best demonstrate how problems should be dealt with.

I recently bought product from a company, with this product I received great customer service, good communications, helpfulness, friendly advice and conversation. Perfect! Feeling really good about myself and the relationship between customer and business. This was until I found an anomaly on the receipt, which I of course raised. I had been charged for an item that not only did I not want but was not even in my bag for me to return so how it got onto the receipt I have no idea. Anyway I returned to store merely moments after leaving and pointed out that I had been charged for something I did not want or need.  I had hit a wall! The customer service changed like a switch, I was made to feel like it was my fault and that I was causing a problem. I, as the customer, had been nothing but polite and simply wanted my money back as I am rightly entitled to. I found I was then passed on to another department, where I spoke to three different people at which point I decided it best to push the point that I did not wish to pay for something that I did not need. I was not rude and when they asked me for proof of purchase and to look in my shopping bag to check I did not in fact have the item I obliged. Luckily I didn’t have a handbag with me or they would have wanted to search that too. I am astounded that the cashier I spoke to first was not the one that helped me considering it was their mistake. Anyway, after quite a lot of toing and froing I finally got to speak to a nice lady who informed me that I was not supposed to have paid for the item, it was human error and I would be refunded accordingly. I believe that I was pushed through so many hoops for such a trivial thing because their till receipts would have been wrong and somebody was afraid of taking the blame – Running a business myself I do not understand how someone could be afraid of ‘blame’ yes someone is always accountable and had it been a monumental mess up that would suffer some bigger consequences, but for a simple misunderstand, there should be an easy resolution.The customer is your key to success so never make them feel in the wrong. I am pleased this issue was resolved but I certainly should not have gone through that whole rigmarole to sort something so small.

 Now for the good. I was trying to make a purchase online, I was at delivery and I had opted for express delivery as it was something I needed urgently. When I got to checkout a banner popped up that said I do not qualify for express delivery in my area, this didn’t make sense I am in an easy to get to, busy area and haven’t had a problem before so I decided it best to ask. I phoned the customer service number which was easily accessible and very visible throughout the site. I got straight through to a very helpful and friendly (both are important) lady who helped me straight away. She went through the process and couldn’t see a problem, where she could have directed me back to the website, but instead she phoned the couriers to check if there would be any reason for no express delivery. Having got a ‘no we deliver everyday’ after apologising for a long wait, which I didn’t think it was but as it was not just a few seconds she made the effort to apologise. Finally, the lady then put the order through for me without any question and the whole thing was complete. It will be here tomorrow! This was incredibly good customer service, even when she had solved the basic problem, without anything from me, she phoned to check and then completed the task herself. She could have stopped or asked me to phone the couriers myself, or asked me to carry on and order myself. Any of these tasks I could have done but this lovely lady took the time to help me completely. You’ll also notice the difference in writing when describing the first company and the second. Which do you want your business to be?

Take the time to train your staff, depending on your company ensure that all staff members have a basic knowledge of each department so that a customer can speak to one person throughout, where this is not possible ensure that you and your staff are friendly, ask all of the right questions and never make a customer feel like it is their fault!

Manners and consideration are not hard to come by so let’s not forget ours!

Oh, What’s Occurring?

We are always committed to sharing our start-up journey with our Flockers, and so we wanted to share with you few highlights that we can all look forward to over the next few weeks. If it’s not too ‘punny – we want to share our experiences with you as we ‘spread our wings’ and journey to the next level with Cockpots™ and Searching for Skylarks ltd.

occurring

Firstly, we will have our production ready prototypes in the next two weeks! We’re so excited! We cannot wait to show, the world premiere, our wonderful Cockpots™ and glasses clad in their fabulous designs. Then we will launch pre-orders so that you can end the wait and get your paws on a Cockpot™! We will also be hosting the first ever Cockpot™ party and inviting some flockers and will be taking plenty of pictures of the fabulous Cockpot™.
Secondly, there is excitement all around as we embark on our first ever trade show. In May, we will be showcasing Cockpots™ in London’s Earl’s court at Pulse – the place for all of the best and not before seen products to hit the shops! It will be our debut and we are very excited.
To help us prepare for this, we would love it if you got in touch, either at enquiries@searchingforskylarks.co.uk or on one of our social media platforms!Let us know what you like about Cockpots™; can you gorgeous little flockers let us know why you love being in the Flock? We thrive on feedback so please let us know what you do or do not enjoy about us and what we are doing – and any ideas for us going forward!
Finally, we are going to be starting a networking hour on twitter in line with pre-order launch, everyone is welcome, follow us at @skylarksnest and use the #nestnatter to join in on Mondays 8-9pm. We will be discussing different topics each week, hearing from our flockers and making new connections. It’s set to be fun so join in with the flock. If you have anything that you want to discuss then feel free to tweet us and let us know.
Remember every Friday is #callitaweek cocktails, send us your recipes and show us photos of you enjoying yours.