Your Call Is Not That Important to Us
I repeat: it will be difficult for us to be successful if we don’t have satisfied customers. The customer is our reason for existing. In our companies, our mission is to bring higher living standards and progress to our customers with quality products and services.
This is why one of our core valuesis precisely Customer Focus.
"Your Call Is (Not That) Important to Us", by Emily Yellin, addresses the crucial importance for companies to focus on service. The book illustrates the issue with several cases of company call centers that have lost their reputation or even cease to exist because of a lack of customer attention.
Yellin explains that service quality makes the difference between companies that are mediocre and those that are not, because customer satisfaction defines the financial health and market value of a company over time.
The book highlights several points to keep in mind:
- The philosophy of doing more with less does not always apply to service, because it is intangible and unquantifiable.
- Customers are frustrated by being attended by machines instead of people. Telephone operators are the human part of the vast machinery of communication. No matter how many millions are spent on technology, the quality of telephone service depends on the operator and his or her interaction with the customer.
- Take care of your customer, or someone else will do it for you. Shortening calls without providing adequate attention makes you lose customers and it is harder to attract new ones.
- Customer service is not based on doing exactly what the consumer wants or says he or she wants, but on doing our best in trying to help people, in accordance with the skills of each employee.
- There are two factors that exert a great influence on consumers when they choose where to shop: product quality and the employees’ attitude.
- The way a company responds to customers, even though it might not be perfect, is important. Everything is based on respect for others' time; attend to and get to know the problems of each client and appoint the right person to resolve them.
- Technology is only a facilitator for strategy, but if companies do not adapt to processes and people, the best tools in the world will not make a difference.
- It’s time for companies to recognize the critical role of service, to establish the necessary skills that will allow them to hold on to customers.
We must always think about the needs of our clients, building bonds of trust and transparency with them, as well as being proactive.
Once customers have honored us with their visit, we must attend to them as we would like them to attend to us. This implies (i) understanding and showing empathy, (ii) explaining to them honestly and with full knowledge of a product’s characteristics, (iii) exceeding expectations, (iv) always fulfilling what we promise, and (v) providing good after-sales service.
In the case of Elektra and Iusacell, we must recognize that we have had some deficiencies in customer service, but we are making great efforts and devoting considerable resources to improving our call centers. This is a great challenge but we are confident that we will achieve the expected results.
Whether due to bad treatment, poor advice, or long waiting times, sooner or later companies pay the consequences of poor customer service.
In today’s dynamic and competitive world, every company should take into account these principles, listen carefully to what their customers want, and have the capacity for adaptation and rapid response. As always, we must be aware that the only constant is change itself.