Customer Service: Pretty Please Get it Right the First Time


This article was published on the Glance blog on August 20, 2015.  Click here to read the original post.

The move

I recently had the privilege of moving my family from Southern California to the beautiful state of Oregon. While I’m excited to be here, the word “privilege” might be a bit too strong.  Moving is hard work and for each child that enters the equation, it becomes exponentially more difficult. I happen to have three.

As I reflect on the process of moving, one of the biggest decisions is the selection of a moving company. In an effort to be fiscally responsible, I selected one of those moving companies where they drop off a trailer, I pack it, they pick it up, and deliver it to the destination for me to unload.

The wrong number

When it came time to deliver the trailer, the driver couldn’t find my home. Upon trying to call me, he had a wrong number.  When they finally got ahold of me, they found that both my address and cell phone numbers had been entered into the system incorrectly by their customer service. I was able to work with a friendly customer service representative to get that updated.

That’s not the end of the story, however. I hired a subcontractor of theirs to help me unload the trailer at our new home. When they tried to call me to set up an appointment, they couldn’t reach me because my cell phone was again incorrect in the system.

Get it right the first time

In retrospect, we made it to our destination, along with our stuff, and it was rather uneventful. There’s still a valuable customer service lesson to be learned here. When working with customers, it’s so easy for information to be misinterpreted or simply entered incorrectly. That’s why it’s so critical to take the extra few moments to repeat back what you heard to the customer.

Think about it for a moment. A simple line like, “Let me repeat back your telephone number to make sure I entered it correctly” could have saved 2-3 additional calls to customer service. Awesome customer service is about delivering value to your customers. That value starts with getting it right the first time so your customers AND colleagues don’t have to spend extra time correcting errors.

Get it right the first time and you will save time, money, and customers.


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