Keeping your customers happy can be a hard enough task at the best of times so why not enhance your customer’s experience with good communication?
Probably the worst example of this is when you arrange to have a telephone service connected and Telstra say we will be there “sometime between 1 PM and 5 PM”.
They will not make a specific appointment time, which is understandable from their point of view, but extremely frustrating for their customers.
I dare say that this blog post is not going to change the way Telstra operates, however . . . I hope that some small business operators will benefit from this.
I am prompted to write about this now because we recently had several service providers call at our house.
I was told that the appointment time was 12pm till 2pm, which I mistakenly understood to be the time required to complete the service.
So I was expecting the technician to arrive at 12pm and be finished by around 2pm.
That was the first miscommunication.
When 12pm came and passed, I called their office and was told that the technician would arrive somewhere between 12pm and 2pm. I was a bit miffed, but let it pass.
Then when 2pm passed and even 2:30pm, and I became more frustrated.
The technician eventually arrived around 3pm, and even though he did an excellent job, I still had the frustration of waiting around for 3 hours.
And an otherwise good customer relationship was soiled by miscommunication over timing.
A Better Solution
In years past, we also ran a service based business requiring attendance at the client’s premises, both for the quotation and later for the actual job.
While we were able to forecast our arrival time without too many issues, there were always times when we could not arrive exactly at the promised time.
If I estimated that I would be more than couple minutes late on the given the appointment time, I would call the customer and let him know that I would late by about X minutes.
So the customer was always aware of when we would arrive, and was not left standing around wondering what was happening.
I still do this today at Hotpink Websites, even though most of our appointments are by phone or Skype.
With modern GPS devices being able to predict arrival times, it is very easy to know if you are running late for your next appointment.
Back to the Case Study
I fully understand that with some services, it can be difficult or impossible to predict how long the service will take to complete, and that a predictive time range is the best that can be achieved.
Something like . . .
“It’s not always possible to tell precisely how long a job will take, so we can only give a range of times when the technician will arrive.
This will be between 12pm and 2pm on Wednesday.
If the technician is held up for any reason, he will give you a call or SMS to update you on his arrival time.”
Then of course, make sure that the service technician has a clear instructions on contacting and updating the client.
Alternatively, the service technician could liaise with the office and they could make the follow-up call.
Well, that is quite simple really!
Watch this short VIDEO
Bad Customer Service Montage
What should you do now?
- Review your customer processes.
- Ask your cusotmers, where can we do better?
- Want some help or ideas? Just contact us at Hotpink Websites now.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
~ Mahatma Gandhi
Remember – Enhance your customers experience with good communication