Brilliantly simple things to increase customer service that you aren’t doing

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The idea for this post arose from my frustration in tracking down phone numbers from voice mails and emails. It got me thinking about how many simple things people and their businesses should do to make communication better. These simple things directly lead to better customer service. The amazing part is how many people do not pay attention to detail (and yes, I am guilty of this too).

Email – Technology is a wonderful thing. I can run my business on my smart phone, in fact, I have after Hurricane Sandy. Using smartphones and tablets one can handle email almost anywhere we have a connection. Yet here is issue. By my seat of the pants estimate, 80% of you have not set up the correct signature. If I have to talk to you and your number is not on your email – you, yes you, have now caused me to go search for your number, thus wasting time. If that sounds haughty, understand this. 95% of the time I need to speak directly to you to close a deal, to negotiate things or discuss things that should not be in writing.   (Hitting reply and asking you to call me is just adding more work to my day).

Simple fix – Set up a proper and professional signature on your mobile email.  Also, make sure to set up your reply to include your signature. Many times, replies to my sent emails come back with no signature. Go to your settings and make sure your reply includes a signature.

Voice mails – This week I deleted, unanswered nor acted upon, 20+ voice mails from people trying to sell me something. This is not what you think it is. The 50+ voice mails were from people who had either information I needed; products or services I wanted to buy or more importantly, requests for information about my products and services. So why would I delete these with no call back or follow ups? Because I could not understand you. Not that you had an accent, but because you spoke too fast. I could not make out your phone number, I did not catch your name. I PLAYED BACK each one 3 times trying to decipher what you are saying.

Simple fix – Recognize this first – landline phone systems do not always have the ability to match your number with your voice mail. Recognize this. Second – Take the time to enunciate your name, your phone number and your company and then repeat it. Stop being in such a hurry to get to the next call on your list.

Websites – I harp on this all the time. Websites are 1/3 of what I do to make a living. Properly designed websites guide the reader to the information they need.  If you cannot provide simple and direct ways for people to contact you, then you FAIL at customer service. I am a big proponent of including the phone number of your business in a sites navigation. Why? Because of mobile technology. Remember my whining about email and phone numbers or indecipherable voice mails? Well, believe or not, when I am trying to track you down, I search for you online. If I am using my mobile, why should I have to click-through 2-3 pages to find your number? Mobile devices have this wonderful design built into them (they are phones first aren’t they?) that will allow you to tap and call from the front page. Makes life easier doesn’t it?

Side note – I was discussing the reasons of this article to a business associate. He had the caveman mentality that one shouldn’t put the phone number in the navigation because then people wouldn’t venture through the site. Hogwash and Poppy cock I said. A site is all about making the reader/user ave the easiest and simplest experience in interacting with you. A phone number on each page does that. If you have great content, the user will explore your site. Tick them off and they leave.

Simple fix – include your phone number on each page. Call it a Call to Action, those things, I hear, are effective. Include a way to contact you on every page and post.

Well thank you for reading my rant today. These three things are important to communication and I hope you take the time to address them. Great communication is the bedrock of great customer service. Great customer service translates into great customers.

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