Being Your Own Customer Can Improve Your Company’s Service
Article By Vertical Axion
Have you ever called your own business from an outside line to see how you’re treated? Ever chatted with your employees over live online chat or e-mail as a “pretend” customer to see how professional and friendly they were? Maybe you have sent an e-mail through your own website’s form to see how fast and genuine the response was.
No? Why not?
Sometimes the truth can be a scary thing, but it’s important that you know it. Knowing how your employees treat potential clients can help you figure out their weaknesses to make them better employees in the long run. When you decide it’s time to “audit” how your team does when you’re not looking, make sure you pay extra attention to the following areas.
Communicating on the Phone
Just because an employee is friendly and professional on the phone doesn’t mean they’re interacting the way you want them to. Have you ever talked to your phone-answering employees about how they should be talking to the people on the other end of the line? It may be time to formalize the way they are picking up the phone – but remember, that doesn’t mean taking away their personality. You want your employees to sound like real people, but they should know what to say and how to say it when it’s necessary as well. Remember to also watch how long your employee leaves a potential client on hold; it should be less than a minute or two.
Corresponding via Email
The details matter when chatting over email. People have a lot more time to read over what was said and how it was said. If your employees are sticking to “canned responses,” you know there might be a problem. Just like when a team member talks on the phone, an email message should have some sense of personality and genuineness. Still, it should be grammatically correct and hold together when put under scrutiny. Spelling mistakes can cost you business – many people find them irritating.
Online Form Inquiries
All too often, emails that are sent via form go to an inbox that isn’t checked enough. They are left to rot there for days and sometimes weeks. There’s no need for that – simply re-designate the place that those emails are sent. Consider sending them to yourself so you can distribute them to the proper departments yourself – that means you always know exactly when something was sent to the right person for the job. Send an inquiry through the form and see how long it takes to get an answer. If you haven’t received one within 24 hours, track down the cause, and stress how important it is that those inquiries are answered in a timely manner at your next team meeting.
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