August 4, 2015

I dropped my phone last week which I’ve done many times before; however, this time it shattered. Thus, I had to use my insurance to get a replacement phone. I received my replacement phone and got everything working, and then I realized it wouldn’t charge on the majority of chargers. Thus, I had to call to get a replacement for the replacement. I wasn’t that upset about the phone issue until I had to call back 3 or 4 times and got transferred to at least 2-4 people on each call. I was getting very annoyed! That experience could easily turn a satisfied customer into a disgruntled customer rapidly.

A year or two ago, my financial advisor changed firms and phone systems. It was supposed to be the “latest and greatest” phone system but it was the most annoying thing in the world to get in touch with him. I think all of his clients celebrated when he went back to his old process and phone. It truly went from “going the extra mile with customer service” to “phone hell”. Do you have “improvements” that annoy your customers?

One tip to implement this week:
Think about what seemingly little things you are doing that could provide extra value – or be annoying – to your customers. Or to your employees, or peers. I have no doubt we all could find something. If one of the most approachable and accessible people could become impossible to reach (my advisor), it can happen to all of us.

What can you do to test that the little things are working? Have you tried calling into your company or to your office as an outsider to see how easy and pleasant it is to reach you? In the technology age, I am most happy when I have an on-line version if I want to resolve something at 1am; however, I am very happy if I can also reach a person to help with the personal touch. Are you offering both? How can you improve on it from your customer’s (internal or external) point of view?