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Mary Schmidt Business Builder & Renovator


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“That’s on a different system.”

Mary Schmidt

May 02, 2012

silosA couple of observations regarding customer service/support.

1. The customer doesn’t care (and shouldn’t have to) that there are separate systems - for billing, levels of support, or sales processing.  I just got another statement for my mother’s cataract surgery. When I called about the first one received, I was told she was entitled to a credit (which was received) and to pay no never mind to the statement.  Today, I was told, “Oh, that’s on another system, she still owes for the doctor.” Hmmm…and yet I’ve got nothing showing a payment we made.  Sure, this is a medical billing issue - but how many times have you been faced with the system issue in product support? Banking? Credit card processing?

2. A product is only as good as the (perceived) service.
  As far I can tell, the surgeon did a stellar job for mom.  But her perception is that the people didn’t know what they were doing.  I have to concur to a certain extent.  The facility does thousands of cataract procedures a year…which means elderly people…which means a lot of folks with very limited mobility , patience and mental capacity to understand (much less remember) the explanations.  (I now know more about cataract surgery than I ever dreamed, having reviewed the documents daily for weeks.)  Yet the whole process requires hours of waiting…going up and down long hallways…up and down floors…waiting some more…being faced with complicated (and sorta scary) machines…(Hello? We’re literally running out of oxygen here…) 

So, before you spend another dime on fancy software, a process template or a consultant - stop and think…what would your customer think? (Maybe make a phone call into your support center and see what happens.)

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Social Media Isn't Free, Easy or Magic.

If one of the self-anointed experts contacts you, pitching magical thinking, ask:

1. What results can I expect if I work with you? (Note: Twitter followers aren't necessarily customers.)

2. What kind of time will I have to invest? (Social media, properly done, is all about personal relationships. You with your customers...and a good relationship takes time.)

3. How do I integrate social media tools with my current operations? (Your salespeople need to know what you're saying on Facebook. Your customer service process and policies should be consistent across the board, from phone to Twitter.)

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