This week I was doing some research using the internet and needed to make a few phone calls. And here’s what I found:
A few numbers I found on web pages on the internet are no longer in service. And mind you, these are sites that were to help me build web sites. Hmmm.
One number I called did not get any response no matter what time of the day I call. I eventually wrote in to the support email and after being redirected a few times, was given another number to call. And you guessed it, the phone was left to ring off the hook.
The third time I was smarter and chose to have live chat instead – that is live texting over the internet. I was attended to although the response was very slow in between messages. I wonder if the same support person is tending to multiple clients. But at least I got my questions answered.
I was particularly drained by one ‘expert’ who had me repeat my questions a few times while he came back with some response that did not address the issue. Not sure if he was not paying attention or that he did not have the answer and wanted to divert my attention. Either way it was a most tiring experience.
One representative could not answer questions about his product features. Fortunately I was able to get a hold of his “country sales managere” and have my queries addressed. I won’t bore you with more stories and experiences this week. But you get the drift.
Now that got me thinking. I was on the look out for service provider, I was going to be a willing client but based on my experience with each of these contacts, you can guess the outcome. They have just turned their hot prospects away. Prospects who found them, raised their hands and took the trouble to contact them.
While companies spend on marketing and advertising, leads are leaking from right under their nose when Operations and Support is not there to work in tandem with Sales and Marketing. That is an issue when departments within companies see themselves as functioning in silos.
Customer support is an extension of sales as far as I am concerned. Without courteous, helpful and knowledgeable client support, you may as well save your marketing fee. And why have a website with a phone number that is no longer in service?
On a brighter note, I have also experienced some outstanding service support this week. People who went out of the way to attend to my queries, who not only answered my basic, simple questions but gave insightful advices and recommended options for my next steps.
It is as though they can foresee where I may need a little extra information and gave that to me so I can make a more informed decision. Now that is what I call a trusted advisor.
Which of these do you think I will choose? Simple isn’t it? Marketing, Sales, Operations or Support, if serving your clients’/audience’/students’ needs and queries is not top of your concern, you are missing the entire point.
Even if you are tied to the service provider in a contract, you will not want to retain a provider with that kind of service. Businesses are turning away free leads and sending them to your neighbor who cares to be helpful, to listen, to reach out and help.
What would you do in view of these situations? And if you have any tips please do share them here. Sometimes I am so frustrated I want to conduct a workshop on Customer Service. It is a simple fact but one that may have escaped our business providers:
“If you are in the service industry then you are here to serve“. ~ Me.
For more posts on branding your services or expanding your solo or small business, you are invited to the soft launch of my marketing site at http://www.SynergyMarketingPro.com.
There is still a lot to do on this new site and I am not announcing it to the public yet. But as my regular readers, you get to know about these things first. That will be where I will be posting on the various marketing channels.
I am in the process of re-centering this site to focus on personal development so bear with me as I do some streamlining at this site. You’ll see more of Louisa the person here and Louisa the Marketer at Synergy Marketing Pro.
In any case, I love to hear from you. Leave me a comment and feel free to share this with your friends.