I am writing this blog with “Customer Service Professionals” in my mind. Every one in this ecosystem always deliver their acts in Customer Service with a perception of “goodness” in their mind. Despite the many acts in the world of Sales, Marketing , Public Relations and Customer Service being delivered with “goodness” in mind the outcome of the same is still negative. It is important for all of us to understand these scenarios and protect ourselves from doing “bad” to ourselves even when we wish to do “good” unto others as well as self.
Say “No” when it isn’t “Yes”
Never try to hoodwink yourself by trying to say “Yes” to every request from the customer. This false promise always gets exposed in the short term itself and exposes weakness in the service provider as a non reliable person. There is another category of customer service person who says “Yes” and then forgets about the same. This is also blasphemy.
What am I trying to advocate?
Well, even if the customer request is beyond normal, stretch your limits positively and see if you can accomodate the request. Do not stretch beyond your possible limits of fulfilling the promise. This is known as the Customer Service Elasticity Index. Essentially, saying “Yes” till your CSEI supports the same is a great customer service. Once the CSEI crosses limits of elasticity and reaches plastic levels saying “No” is good customer service.
Customer Service Elasticity Index
a) Do we offer our CSEI free of charge?
b) How is CSEI calculated?
The elasticity of customer service depends on the culture and policy of a company vis a vis customer service. If the organisation looks at Customer Service as a “Karma” which has to be done irrespective of immediate results, they will have a high CSEI.
Organisations which behave like advocates while dealing with customer complaint resolution normally exhibit a low CSEI. Such organisations are not known to be progressive.
c) What should an organisation do to enhance the CSEI?
- Empower customer service team with sales through service
- Empower customer service team with customer service recovery
- Authorise customer service front line to take certain decisions which is congruent to the extended CSEI
Do you assign sales targets to customer service teams?
You must do this. Many of us have the contention that if we ask the customer service to sell, the spirit of customer service will nullify.
I do not agree to this.
Why do I say this?
Customer Service is expected to enable more sales , isn’t it? Why not empower customer service team to extend their CSEI and in the process generate more sales.
I leave all of you with this thought.
Bending Backwards, Driving Forward?
Lot of us feel that if you extend CSEI, customers become more demanding and in the process more dissatisfied because we are unable to offer the extended service promise.
These are those people who feel that accommodating request of the customer at the right price is bending backwards. Ludicrous indeed!
The trouble is that such people have not been able to envisage the extended requests of the customer and hence they do not have the extended offering in place. If the extended offering is not in place, you are forced to extend forward with no extra earning. Surely , I will call this bending backwards then.
The million dollar question here is that why has the management team not been able to envisage extended requirements and priced it on time?
Spare some time to ask this question to yourself and I am sure we can discuss this topic in further detail after that.