“Look through your customer’s eyes. Are you the solution provider or part of the problem?”
My significant other, Ellie, just had knee replacement surgery. The procedure went incredibly well, but we needed to have a walker for her when she returned home from the hospital to ensure she did not fall. It just was not safe for her to be moving around our house without some stability.
The hospital gave us the name of a company that provides walkers, and I called them to check on their supply before Ellie was discharged. However, their telephone system was so unwieldly, I eventually gave up. The company’s message just repeated over and over in different voices. I never could get any useful information by phone, so I checked their business hours on their website and planned to go by the office once Ellie was discharged instead.
When we got to the office on the way home from the hospital, there was a sign posted saying they were closed from 12 to 1 even though their website did not mention that at all. We left since Ellie was getting tired and did not want to wait the 30 minutes until the store reopened.
I took Ellie home, got her situated in bed and returned to the store an hour later. They were open this time, but they had no initial order on their computers. The hospital had sent them notification, but they had not bothered to look at it. Then, once they found the order for the walker, they could not find the co-pay amount I owed.
I finally gave up on this company and went to Goodwill and bought a used walker to ensure that Ellie could move around safely.
All of the issues I encountered while trying to do business with this company point to one thing: they are not looking at their business the way their customer does. This is a major problem. It is meaningless to focus on how you want your customers to see your business if you are not considering the customer’s experience.
Understanding the customer’s experience involves examining every point of interaction between the customer and your business. This includes your website, the telephone and anywhere customers encounter information or an agent of your firm. Each of these must be evaluated every so often (at least annually) to make sure things have not changed.
You cannot have great customer service unless you pay attention to every detail of what your customers have to experience and make every point of interaction great.
Now go out and make sure you look at your customer service the way your customers do and develop a plan for periodically evaluating all of your customer interaction points.
You can do this!