What Is Customer Service, Anyway?
Apple has customer service down to a science.
They deliver an exceptional experience. Walk into any of their stores and you will be greeted, they will ask if you need any help. If you need help, they will schedule you with a customer service rep (I think they call them ‘geniuses’). If you want to browse, they will let you browse.
What’s genius is the approach and the culture, it’s not very complicated.
It’s basic customer service, the variety of which we had more of ‘back in the day’. The type where people would look you in the eyes and ask if you needed any help, and stay with you until the job was done.
The environment encourages accountability. The form that it takes is in the people that make that personal connection. It’s in the technology, in an iPad or iPod touch configured to perform specific tasks like scheduling, and taking payments.
It’s the type that assigns an employee to hold your hand as you busily and excitedly set up your new phone, along with four or five others.
A system that has connectivity with your cell phone carrier and can seamlessly get you connected to the rest of the world….effortlessly.
In the end, it’s inviting, it’s stress-free, it’s easy.
Okay, but what about something local? Does local business matter anymore? Can local business deliver that same level of customer service?
Do local businesses really know what it takes to “serve” the customer. I’ve found in my travels and interactions that it depends. On what? On any number of different variables, which vary widely from one business to another, and from one industry to another.
Interestingly, it also varies within a computer, even a large one.
Home Depot comes to mind. In my main store, I am almost always impressed by the level of customer service and product knowledge. It’s not perfect, but it’s always a great experience. Other Home Depot stores have failed to deliver the same level of customer service.
My guess is that the difference is due, almost entirely, on the management of the store. Somehow the management creates a culture.
Now…if we’re talking about local independent insurance agents…for our part, we strive to make it as easy as possible to do business with us. We are not always the best or the cheapest.
What we strive to be is friendly, professional, competent, efficient, and competitive. You should be impressed with our level of service when you leave our office, or get off the phone with one of our staff.
It's True...You CAN have a Great Experience with your Insurance Company!
It’s not rocket science, but it takes time to master, just like anything. We’ve been in the business for over 75 years, and have been honing our craft that many years.
Do it right and people will rave about you! Maybe they’ll even refer others to your company.
Do it wrong and you’ve lost a customer and will have to work really hard to win them back.
As important as it is to look at the companies that do it right, it’s also important to pay attention to the businesses that do it wrong…especially if it’s your experience with them.
We’re not perfect, but we learn from others mistakes. Learn what does NOT work. We always working on the finer points of customer service.
As in…if they had just done this, I would have been happy.
It’s relatively easy to point out companies that have millions and millions of dollars to recruit and train employees.
It’s another to point out the smaller companies that have everything going for them because they understand how to deliver customer service.
In the words of a customer that we served today “Wow, you guys are so good to us!”
Is it really any more than that?
A little…we’ve been practicing for over 70 years and we’re constantly learning and striving to provide exceptional customer service.