Does customer service start once someone becomes a customer or does it start upon first contact with that person?
A common frustration I have as a consumer, whether it be in business or my personal life, is when a company whose product or service I’m considering purchasing is not very responsive. I’ve found this to be a particular problem when it comes to professional service providers.
I have had more unreturned phone calls or emails than I care to recall from these supposed “professionals”. And oh by the way, I consider no response to be within a couple of days of contact. Aside from true emergencies (e.g. illnesses & deaths) or someone being on vacation, I find it unacceptable for someone not to return a call or email.
I’m not talking about cold calls or blast emails, I’m talking about someone you’ve met or been introduced to, or better yet, someone you know but maybe haven’t contacted in a while. If someone is this unresponsive before I’ve become a customer or before I’ve introduced them to a potential customer, how responsive should I expect them to be after I become a customer. I can’t pinpoint if the root cause is that:
• people like to give off the impression that they’re so busy, or
• they are just out of control, or better yet
• they are so detached from the real world that they have lost touch with the fact that they’re no better than anyone else!
One of the things we strive to live up to in our business is to return phone calls and emails within 24 hours, even if it’s to say “I don’t have time to talk right now or give you an answer, but I did receive your message and can we talk on this day or that, etc.” This simple courtesy helps prevent confusion or frustration in a relationship.
It seems pretty simple to me and goes back to things you probably learned from your parents and kindergarten teacher about being polite and having manners. If you have good manners in business, I guarantee you’ll be recognized by your customers for having great customer service.