“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.” (Peter Drucker)
At Phone.com we are in a very competitive business environment and one which is also a very fast moving and changing market. Yes the product and the service that we put out is extremely important. We have to remain cutting edge, offer the best features and apps and keep innovating. We do a pretty darn good job at this and we have some nice accolades to support it.
However, what we are truly proud of and where we really put a lot of effort is customer servie. So to use another famous quote: “Well done is better than well said” (Benjamin Franklin).
When we started the company and discussed how we will offer customer service and how we will budget it we knew how important it is for us. We know how much it costs us and we know how much time it takes of all the members of the company starting with me and all the executives to the last customer service rep.
But what does it mean to actually do it and not just say we do it? It means we take our time on the phone, it means we do not believe in canned customer support answers or steps. Our customer support reps are all empowered to LISTEN to our customers and not to just quote them or time the length of the call. You need to understand what bothers the customer. You need to think whether what they are asking is what they really mean or (in many cases) they actually call it one thing but want something else because they use different terminology.
We know we get upset customers (a bill that was wrong or a feature that did not work) our goal is actually to turn them into testimonial customers. We have internal competitions to ensure customers leave a call becoming a reference customer.
Much has been discussed about being direct and honest, especially when you need to admit to a mistake or to a problem. Read some of the comments we get from our customers on our Facebook fan page or on our Testimonial page on our website and you will see how such an approach is rewarded.
In a future post I think I will let our customer service team explain how they do it and more important how they get everyone to follow their lead. In the meantime you can read their own blog about customer service which in itself shows the value we put into it.
Contributed by Ari Rabban, CEO at Phone.com