With my recent extensive and intensive experience with Apple, I am more qualified than usual to share with you three BASICS you must have to create and sustain a happy customer experience. Face facts, it isn’t enough to sell your product or services, you have to ensure that your sale is satisfying and leaves your customer or client feeling good (even great) about you and your business. Customer service isn’t rocket science and it is the cornerstone of every successful business, yet I am amazed at how easily it can be botched and leave a permanent scar. That scar by the way manifests itself in stories retold countless times of how bad an experience was . . . I have already managed to scare a handful of colleagues about switching to MAC and I’m not even fully there yet.
So, let’s cut to the chase and look at these three MUST HAVES:
1) Get Your Customer’s Name Right, Spelled and Pronounced.
Now I realize that this may sound no-brainer to you, it did to me too. But having purchased both an IMAC and a Macbook Pro (hey when I make a move, I jump in with both feet) only to find that on every screen, inside every program and license, my name was misspelled it became a big hairy deal.
Today, there is little more precious to each of us than our name. It is what every website asks for along with our email and it has to be spelled correctly. Now I’ve had Galt misspelled plenty of times with a change to Gault, it makes me cringe but I deal with it. Apple tortured my first name in every single location and then some with Milissa instead of Melissa. And to add insult to injury, correcting it would entail reloading all software programs where this appears, YIKES.
2) Don’t Promise What You Don’t Deliver
I will do another post soon on setting customer expectations because it is vital to your business success. Right now, I’ll just hit the tip of this enormous iceberg.
In the case of Apple, even their phone message that you get at every call, clearly states “set up your device just the way you like it.” And when I went to purchase I invested three hours on a Saturday night to ensure they were crystal clear on my expectations based on what they’d promised in their advertising and their scripts that the sales people used. (Can we please skip the Genius monikers, these guys and gals clearly weren’t or I’d have had a much better experience.) And yet, I had a mess on my hands when I went to turn on and use the IMAC (haven’t touched the laptop yet, but it is a copy so betting the same.)
They had ensured me they’d move all files over and it would be set up as I requested. That included files being in the same order as on my PC. NOT! Instead the alleged geniuses (I have a much better name, but am too PC to share it) took every file I had on my PC and put it in a virtual blender at high speed on disorganize. The files on the IMAC bear no resemblance to those on my PC and it is going to take considerable time to sort it out. It is more likely I’ll have them dumped and reinstalled in an orderly fashion by an outside tech, more monies out of pocket when they’d promised “just the way you like it.”
3) Be Easy to Reach
We’ve all learned to master those annoying multi push button phone systems that the giants like American Express, Verizon, and more use. You just keep hitting zero until the system delivers a human being (or you use a dialtone phone, yeah right!) But what to do when you’ve made a major purchase and each time you call you have to go through a system that doesn’t have a zero option or worse, it cues you behind all other calls giving no preference as a new customer. This is how Apple works if you have to reach the store, and leaving a message for a specific person because you don’t want to repeat your story six million times is fruitless as messages are never relayed despite promises from any Nick, Marcus, Tom, Dick, Harry, or Jessica answering the phone. YIKES, really?????
Every sale I’ve ever made, I give my client my cell phone and easy access for questions, challenges or praise (yes, it does happen!) I bet you do to, and if you don’t you will now. Here’s the trick, if you have a staff working for you, you must train them to get messages to you post haste. A new customer is at that precarious place where they can either teeter into total satisfaction or fall into the abyss of buyer’s remorse and once in the abyss it is very hard to fish them out. I’m in the abyss. Yes, I can still return the product, but that means I’ve been beat, and I’m no quitter!
There is a lot more I can share on these three and I’m betting you can too, so I’d like to hear your favorite BAD or GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE story, c’mon now, dish it here.