Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Importance of Back-End Customer Service

My brother has been working with me for a few weeks, helping me out during my busy season. And during the last few weeks, he's spent a lot of time on countless calls to the company from which he recently bought a custom computer.

This company, which shall remain nameless, is the best of the best in custom computers. When my brother was shopping around, their customer service was top notch. They even called him after he'd had the computer for a week or two, just to make sure everything was as it should be.

But now there's an issue, and the situation has been flipped around completely. My brother has spent hours on the phone, on hold, trying to reach someone who can help. A couple of times he's reached someone who couldn't immediately help, but took his number and promised to call him right back … and never did.

The computer is still under warranty--a warranty that my brother paid an extra $300.00 for--yet he's had a nightmare of a time getting anyone who can help him. All he needs is an RMA number, and for them to arrange for shipping so his computer can get the service it needs. It shouldn't be complicated.

Customer service is not just front-end. In fact, back-end customer service is even more important, yet it's often overlooked because it's not considered marketing; it's not considered visible.

But it is visible. A customer with a positive resolution to an issue will be much more likely to tell people about their experience, and negative outcomes exponentially more so. It's word-of-mouth, and it's your reputation; it's everything.

Reputation is no longer contained to our zip codes. In our social media age, reputation is global. It's reflected in our communications, in our recommendations, and in our reviews. And sometimes the best reviews are the results of resolutions to bad situations.

Stuff happens. Maybe you overlooked something on an order, had a shipping claim, guaranteed something that requires service, or failed to fully explain a policy up front. This stuff can lead to a concerned customer. How you handle that concerned customer is what will set you apart, and what will allow you to soar or to cause you to crash and burn.

Unfortunate events, handled correctly, can show your customers your level of professionalism, care, and admirable intentions. In the same token, unfortunate events, handled incorrectly, can be detrimental.

So next time a situation arises where you need to take action, show your best back-end customer service. Work with your customer to make it right.

Making it right is never wrong.

#MakeItRight #CustomerService #AskUncleMarty


Originally published on the AMBC blog on May 31, 2016.