Too often excellent customer service is seen as just doing whatever the customer asks. It isn’t. And that’s not realistic.
Every organization can have excellent customer service, even those working with the most complex customer processes, if they can provide effective status updates to the customer:
(As I go through these, I think of banks, mortgage companies, airlines, telecoms, and other service companies with traditionally bad customer service reputations.)
The Need for Useful, Specific Status Updates
Customers want to be able to track the status of their process/service/product. They want to be able to get an update on that item when they contact your organization.
GOOD STATUS UPDATES:
- CUSTOMIZED UPDATE
“Thanks for contacting me! Your item just left our warehouse and has checked in to the processing facility. It should be there in X days.
- SPECIFIC UPDATE
“Thanks for calling/emailing! It looks like we’re at step 2 of 4. The final steps normally take 2-4 hours and then it should be ready.”
- QUALITY UPDATE
“Thanks for checking! Our X team is reviewing that right now and they normally finish processing it by the end of the day. If they run into any issues, you’ll get a phone call.”
BAD “STATUS UPDATES”
(Notice the “” in Status Updates, since these examples aren’t really statuses, nor are real updates.)
- GENERIC UPDATE
“Thank you for your inquiry. Orders are normally processed in 24-72 hours.”
- NOT SPECIFIC UPDATE
“Thank you. Someone will be in touch shortly.”
- NOT A REAL UPDATE
“Our X team is reviewing that. I don’t know when it’ll be done.“
Getting and providing effective status updates to provide excellent customer service is based on CARING about the CUSTOMER. You always ask yourself if your process is making the customer happy, or if you’re frustrating the customer. Customers want to be kept in the loop. They’re making an investment with you. Whether it’s money, time, emotion, goods, or services, there’s always some type of investment that the customer makes with the organization.
Customers want to know that their investment will pay off for them.