Imagine that you find a posting for your dream job. Then you painstakingly prepare the world’s most perfect cover letter and résumé. You make positive connections with people in the company and manage to secure an interview. You spend weeks anticipating every possible question and honing your perfect response.
Excellent, consistent customer service should never be an afterthought.
Then, on interview day, you wake up, skip a shower, throw on a ripped t-shirt and dirty sweats and head out to close the deal. For good measure, you down a few beers on the way to the interview, being sure to arrive late.
Sounds insane, right? It would be crazy and we’ll bet that no one would ever do it. How is it then, we wonder, that so many businesses spend untold effort strategizing and creating amazing products, services and brands, only to leave the customer interaction to the unpleasant or inept?
Recently, we’ve each had really unfortunate customer service experiences with really wonderful companies. We both dealt with unpleasant, unhelpful customer service reps who seemed both unable and disinterested in helping us with our very routine issues.
We both frequent a health care provider who runs an excellent practice with lovely, knowledgeable staff. But first, there’s the receptionist. She’s rude, inattentive and most often on personal calls while we wait for help. Each time we visit we are surprised that anyone would leave the first and last impression of the client in the hands of this woman.
Of course it’s true that good help at the lower end of the wage spectrum can be hard to find. It’s not impossible though. There are companies that offer consistently warm, knowledgeable and helpful service. Don’t believe us? Order something from Land’s End. Do it over the phone just so you can experience it. Then call back if you have a question. Or there’s a problem with the item. Or if the item goes on sale after you’ve ordered it. Or if you want to return it. Or if you want to return it after you’ve used it. You could do this a dozen times and we’d bet anything that every single person you deal with will be nothing short of lovely and will go to any lengths to accommodate you.
What Land’s End understands is that excellent, consistent customer service should never be an afterthought. There is simply no point in creating great goods or services and then failing in the delivery. One of the best, cheapest things you can do to fix your business is make sure that the person at the front door is your best representative.