Please if you do nothing else to improve your company’s service – train your employees to take ownership of problems.
Have you ever called in for a question about a customer service issue and the representatives, while helpful, seemed like they couldn’t transfer your phone call quick enough to another department.
I bet those experiences are mis-managed by companies who measure “success” by how quickly a representative can “fix” a problem (aka – get you off the phone or pass you to someone else). These customer service experiences are like one big game of hot potato.
A phone transfer or handoff of the problem to another employee is not a fix for a problem. In some cases it will cause you to lose customers – who leave based on not much more than the poor service that they just experienced.
This recently happened to me at T-Mobile.
I was looking to re-connect a line of service. This should have been a 5 minute slam-dunk for T-Mobile. They would have added another subscribers (since I was a former subscriber it’s even better and they term it a “win back”).
Instead what happened? I was passed from one representative to another — in a circular motion.
Customer service said “hold on you need to speak to activations”. Then when I was passed to activations they said “hold on you need to speak to customer service”.
After two rounds of this I was done.
There are, after all, other cell phone providers offering pretty much the same service using similar phones.
Are you losing customers based on similar poor customer service?
What could T-Mobile have done to improve their service?
1. Have the representative stay on the phone to make sure the transfer happens (it doesn’t hurt to get a callback number in case you’re disconnected).
2. Understand the problem. It shouldn’t be a race to see how quickly you can hit the “transfer” button.
3. Never measure customer satisfaction based on how many calls per day a representative handles. Measuring speed only provides incentive to pass the problem off to someone else regardless of the customer outcome.
Are any of these had to implement? Would they take hours and hours of re-training for your staff?
Are your employees empowered to take ownership of a problem (from start to finish) as opposed to passing the problem to another employee?
If not, why not?