Category Archives: CSR Wednesday

Customer Service Holiday Hours

During and right after public holidays; customer service operates on holiday hours.
Customer Service Holiday Hours can sometimes be extended or in some cases shortened so staff can be with their families.

For any essential service; they are a 24hr operation. That’s police, fire and ambulance emergency response teams & dispatch centres.

Coming back from any type of public holiday break doesn’t compare to winter customer service contact from December to just after New Years.

It is a very stressful time for customer service in person as well as phone/internet.

Please keep in mind it’s a stressful time after the holiday as well.

There may be long waits.

For this reason, many stores don’t accept returns until early January.

If going to make any purchases; go early in the day if possible & avoid the rush of customers. This is especially if you’re an impatient or timely person; avoid future aggravation.

Should going to buy be a must; please give yourself extra time to get there safely, to get through the customer lineups and also extra travel time to return home safely.

For online or telephone customer service; their waits can be upto 30 minutes at times.
If not urgent need & you can avoid it until after the first ten days of January; then please do.

You’ll be thankful for saving yourself and the customer service reps from stress of the post holiday season.

Happy 2017!

Ask Customer Support

Ask Customer Support to assist

Last week was looking at an online service & needed to ask customer support.
It was actually another social media scheduling service with some enhanced features. Couldn’t find the answers in their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) so had sent off a request to their customer support.

The autoresponse was that they answer within a few hours. Indeed they did get back to me quickly.

I asked the questions I needed & even learned something that I didn’t know.
Just as both Facebook as well as LinkedIn both have personal profiles and business pages; so does Google Plus.

It was suggested recently how it’s good for SEO to publish social media posts on Google Plus.

Asked this social media scheduling service when they said Google Plus is that the personal profile or business (fan page)?

Was happy to learn Google Plus has changed their API (fancy word for access).

They now allow third party apps to publish postings to personal profiles. Wonderful news!

Have yet to try out this new scheduling program and I’m confident we’ll love it.

Had I not taken the time to contact the company and ask questions then I wouldn’t have learned any of this or gotten answers I needed about this service.

Sometimes extra information or resources on services we want to use are available but we have to ask.

Had a similar situation with an email newsletter program some of our clients use.

Couldn’t find the answer so contacted the service to ask customer support.
And they happily gave us the answer that yes, what modifications we’d asked about was available.

The role of customer support whether online or by telephone is to assist customers.

We don’t learn unless we ask & if we don’t contact customer support with our questions; their jobs will not exist.

Customer Service FIRST

Customer Service FIRST

Customer Service FIRST words said to me last week by a grocery store stock clerk.

Had been looking for a food product & couldn’t find it. Now for a small grocery store it sure was busier than usual.

Saw this staff member unpacking boxes & asked him for help.

He walked around the store until he found exactly what I was looking for & that had been in front of my face (isn’t it always?) on the side at the front of the aisle.

Thanked him for help & for taking him away from re-stocking shelves.

He just smiles & says that’s what we’re here for.
Told him how when I used to work in stores & was stocking shelves; customers would always approach me & ask for help finding something.

Then my boss would always ask why the shelves weren’t finished being stocked & I’d say that I’d been helping customers.

This grocery stock clerk just smiles & says Customer Service FIRST.

It was very nice to hear that as a customer & he is right!

That’s the policy we employ in our company is to give good customer service.

Bad customer service means no sale made & that means no profits.

After a lifetime in the customer service field; notice the level of service whenever I’m in a store or purchase a product.

That store has won me over. The staff are quite helpful & courteous.

Customer Retention & Loyalty isn't easy!

Customer Retention and Loyalty

Customer Retention and Loyalty is a big deal, especially with larger companies.
You may have heard the saying Happy Customer is Repeat Customer & tell their friends.
We were told this when I started work in retail.

One call centre that I’d worked at held group training & it was there that I’d met a girl who mentioned working for a local telephone service provider.

Mentioned to her how I’d applied before & even attended the pre-employment test but not been invited to interview.

She tells those of us near her that she’d worked in Loyalty & Retention.

They’d get all the disgruntled customers calls transferred.

Most times the problem was that special offers advertised were only for New Clients.

They were upset; didn’t feel their customer loyalty was appreciated & would threaten to cancel.

She told us; it was quite a stressful job trying to keep these long time customers happy & away from a competitor.

In actual fact; Customer Retention is what goes on behind the scenes on a daily basis in many companies.

Here at VYA; we give discounts to regular paying clients or those who have assisted us.

Our discounts are Professional Business Relationships built.

There are no Black Friday or deep discount days to drive extra sales and loss of profits.

Even with our Tech Training clients; we offer a discount once they are regulars.

After at least 4-6 paid sessions; we will happily include one for free.

That makes them happy & makes us happier when they return or tell people about our service.

It’s a Win-Win situation for everybody.

We need always need better ways to serve our customers in order to increase Customer Retention.

Without paying customers; no business can survive!

Customer Service is part of the sale.

Customer Service before you sell

Read an article recently about marketing and being of service to customers.
Can’t tell you any great marketing suggestions; that’s not my skill strength.
However; when it’s about customer service..I can help.

The article I’d read actually reminded me of a recent experience.
Few months back had been in a coffee shop & ran into someone I knew.

She’d wanted to possible buy some software or phone accessories.
We went to a few nearby stores to go have a look before leaving the area.

The last place we went we were greeted by one the sales reps who was standing by.
Well, if you’ve ever met a person who asks the same question upon question each leading to another then you’ll know the type of person I’m talking about. The sales guy was actually quite polite and not annoyed as he gave the same answer to twenty minutes of questions.

He explained the benefit of each product she asked & even price ranges. At the end of her Q & A the sales guy still DID NOT push a sale.

One thing the sales guy said stuck with me. He said that if she had noticed; he did not push a product particularly the more expensive one. His job was to educate the customer on what was suited to their individual needs. The final buying decision was upto the customer.

That made my friend happy & she planned to return when ready to buy.

Too many people think pushing for the sale is how to get customers to buy. Actually, customer service is part of the sales & most times that’s how it starts.

Let’s look at it this way. If you called up your friends to always push your products, don’t you think after a while they’d stop answering? The same rule applies here.

Customer Service Methods

Customer Service Methods apply to all types of businesses.

Without customers, no business can survive.

When you deal with the public face to face or over the phone; the customer service methods are applied so often that they become a part of daily life even outside work.

Those methods are How May I Help You, Please and Thank-you

In the fast food industry we were taught that the customer is always right and we must do what is required to make sure an order is completed to their satisfaction.

In retail; it was told to us that a Happy Customer is a REPEAT CUSTOMER & that they will bring friends.

Again, we were to do our job in order to create a happy experience for all customers.

This is not to say that customers are allowed to “walk all over you” as there are times when their requests can’t be fulfilled.

Many times they would be upset that door crasher items weren’t available and when explained that the stock had run out by being bought by the early shoppers they’d get upset.

Or other times if they wanted a price match from a store in the same shopping mall or plaza but the other store wouldn’t confirm prices over the phone and the customer had no flyer.

These are a few examples of situations out of our control when the customer was unhappy.
Often times when they could not be accommodated it was usually escalated to a manager.

The manager would try to deal with the situation as best as possible.

Sometimes it would go ok; other times not so well and the customer would leave angry.

You can’t win them all as the saying goes.

However, service must still be given with a smile regardless of the customers’ behaviour.