Creative Corner-Play the "Be Your Own Customer" Game (1,128 wor
When you live every aspect of your business from your customers' perspectives, you can't help but thrill them and prevent potential trouble, even before they complain or defect.
There are many examples of companies that need to play the "Be Your Own Customer" (BYOC) game. Here are just a few.
Last month, one of our clients, a hotel owner, was in our office discussing the response to a specific direct mail program. I suggested we dial his hotel's 800 number to get first-hand knowledge of the customer experience. I made the call and inquired about rates and availability for a particular weekend.
The rep was courteous, and the call was going well—until I asked for more information. The rep connected me to the sales department, where I heard this recording: "The office is open 9 to 5. Please call back tomorrow." Click. I looked at my watch. It was 4:45 p.m.
The client was upset. The operator should have made sure someone was in the department to accept my call. The recording shouldn't have instructed me to call back, and my call shouldn't have been disconnected by the machine.
The point is, by going through this process, we realized that both good prospects and good customers were falling by the wayside.
Stuck in Cyberspace
Here's one of my pet peeves: Why doesn't a company put its customer service phone number on the online order form? This has happened to me many times: I'm online and ordering product. I complete the form ... but wait, something's wrong. Maybe a promotional code isn't working, or I make a typo on a product number.
Now here's the problem: To get the customer service phone number, I'll lose the information I've put in the order form. What's even worse are companies that don't even have a phone number on their sites, just a form to complete with questions that are sent via e-mail. It stops me from ordering, and I leave the site. Business gone.