Archive for May, 2010
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Last night my spouse was having problems with one of his many high tech “toys”. He called the customer support center where we sat on hold for almost an hour! While we waited I was surfing the web. I came across a cool website about the old fashioned tin metal signs. I showed it to my husband because the metal signs we sell today are such an improvement. My husband said that it was a shame customer service hasn’t seen a similar improvement. Granted, he was a little cranky from waiting for someone to respond to his call, but it did get me to thinking.
If we can use technology to make better metal signs, than surely we can us it to improve on customer service!
In the past metal signs were made from tin. The tin was pressed and painted to look like the customer wanted. unfortunately the signs didn’t always hold up the way that they should. People began trying new techniques, and today aluminum is the choice for metal signs. Aluminum metal signs are high quality and stand up to the test of time.
On the other hand, quality of customer service seems to be on a steady down fall. Companies used to make customer service a priority. Friendly staff were always in the store or available by phone. They listened to what you asked and answered your questions. They made you feel like a real person. These days, however technology seems to have robbed the customer service experience in many businesses or organizations.
Almost everyone has had the conversation about trying to reach a “real person” when they are trying to contact a company. They pushed button after button in attempts to finally speak to someone, simply to be told that there was no one to take their call. On a computer you send an email (since you know humans won’t be answering the phone) and you get an automated response telling you someone will respond within 24 hours. And of course, that email with the answer never arrives. So you walk into a store and try to ask a question, but the person only knows how to quote prices or give a prepared speech. They don’t actually know about the products.
Take one step forward with metal signs and two steps back with customer service
Your custom metal sign is only a portion of an entire marketing program that you must create to help your business grow. If marketing is about standing out in the crowd and attracting attention, why not use it for customer service? A little bit goes a long way when it comes to how your clients and potential clients view your business. Why not send an unexpected follow up email to make sure that they are happy with your company. Don’t try to sell anything, just make sure they are happy. Or occasionally call a customer to thank them for their business. Just as before, this is not a sales call, it is customer service, plain and simple.
My husband and I own a sign company, and we take these steps and more to promote customer service in our company. And while we may be forward thinking when it comes to signs, we prefer to remain a bit old fashioned in our customer service.
Unfortunately that was not at all the case for the company my husband was trying to reach. When someone finally came on the phone he said that he was handling customer service for additional companies at the same time. I think that was about the time my husband gave up. He thanked the person on the phone and hung up. Now he wants to go shopping but has assured me that he will never buy a product from that particular company again.
A little food for thought, isn’t it?