By Matthew Sorenson
What does great customer service mean to you? Can you recall a time where you received good service? What was the issue at hand? How quickly and efficiently was the problem resolved? Did you feel more at ease when it was all said and done? We all have different expectations for what we consider to be great customer service.
Despite only having worked in the IT industry for less than a month, I can already see that dedication to providing excellent customer service can have a profound impact on a business. Like most IT managed services providers, here at DirectNetworks, Inc. we have engineers who use their technical knowledge to install and integrate all of our products. However, we also have a great sales and marketing support network of people who act as liaisons to our clients. Our team really takes the time to get to know each and every one of our customers while understanding just exactly what their needs are.
What makes our company unique in my eyes is that each and every one of us shows the same dedication towards customer service. Even though we all have our strengths and weaknesses, things we know (or don't know very well), and varying levels of experience, we still all interact with our customers with utmost professionalism and courteousness, with a strong willingness and passion to help others regardless of the situation.
Looking back on some of my past work-related experiences, I now realize just how customer service can be overlooked sometimes. Mass layoffs of people in support positions have become quite common. Oftentimes these people are the first to go during tough economic times. This is because so many organizations are so production oriented that there is a lot of pressure to generate sales. They think; "well if we aren't selling then we don't need as many service people."
It is important to be wary of this mindset. Although it can be true to some extent, oftentimes an instance of great customer service can lead to a potential sale down the road. For example, I recently had an appointment with my local insurance agent. There was an older lady who came in who was very upset with her current agent (with a competitor). The agent went through her process to evaluate her risk in an attempt to provide her with the best possible coverage that she could afford. Unfortunately, the quote was way out of her price range. The agent then proceeded to Google Search other reputable agents in the area (with her current company) that she could potentially transfer to and sent her off with a short list of names and numbers.
Despite a sale not being made, it was clear that a tremendous impact was made by going above and beyond to help this woman. The agent understood how this small act of kindness now could translate into something great down the road. There is a very good chance that this lady will remember her experience and the high level of customer service that she received. Maybe down the road she will decide to make the switch. Maybe she will tell her friends and family and generate one, two, or maybe even three referrals... who knows?
So remember that in order to provide exceptional customer service, we need to be helpful even if there is no immediate profit. Sometimes it's the little things that can ultimately reap the biggest rewards down the road.