Provide exceptional service, so that people want to ring and talk to us again
Something similar to the quote above was the motto of a one stop centre in a Swedish municipality. While it may sound great or be well-meant, I think there are two things that are wrong with that attitude in the statement.
Returning customers – a sign of failure
Breaking news: your customers contact your business or organisation to get support. Most of them want the stuff they bought from you to work. They ring you when it doesn’t. They don’t want to buy another piece of a non-functional junk. Neither do they go to great lengths to pick up the phone and chat about the weather.
If you are a state or local government organisation, it is particularly true. The public are the first to notice you have not kept your promises. They are quick to point out your failures, and they are likely to do it several times until they see an improvement.
Now that we’ve settled that returning customers are a problem – and it is a problem you own – what are you going to do about it?
Take care of the returning customers
Do not strive to increase the number of incoming telephone calls. Here are a couple of steps to take to eliminate the number of returning customers.
- Increase their satisfaction when they first contact you. Make sure you offer top notch service. If they ring to ask what A costs, sell them a cheaper B, provided it matches their needs. Offer more than they ask for.
- Provide a cheaper support for your customers. An online knowledge base works great. Self-service wizard is awesome. Accessible website is also an amazing way of caring for your customers deeply.
- Be proactive. Find a way to serve your customers before they pick up the phone to call you. Teach your customers what is best for them and more efficient for you. (Hint: I presume you understand the importance of making sure those two match.)