In a series of posts, I'll try to translate more or less standard business needs into how I think it could be done with some simple "future of work" ideas and tools. This is the third post and it will concentrate on the way to do customer service. As in talking to your customers - the most important people you have (maybe second to your employees, but that's another discussion). Back to how to do customer service right:
"I need to solve a problem for a customer."
Your favourite customer calls your mobile phone and they have a problem. Something is not working. You're not a customer service agent. You become scared. One part of you would like to transfer the call right over to one of your colleagues in the technical support team and another part of you would like to answer the customer as fast as possible yourself. A third part just wants to hang up and blame the GSM connection in an email to the customer later (that's the coward part). The first part is also a bit coward, but you can only hope that the support team will take OK care of "your" customer.
What you of course should do in a (Future of) work setting is solve the customers problem. I'll explain how you'll do it, but we need to start in the customer service department (by the way, that's not really a department, it's your entire company. More on that in a later post.).
So every time a customer has asked for something or has had a problem, the person that took the call, answered the tweet or wrote back on email documented the correct answer in a digital, searchable tool. This might have taken them slightly longer to do than just go to the next question in the queue, but since this company is in it for the long run, everyone's encouraged to take a bit more time and effort to please the customers.
Back to you and your customer on the phone. While chit-chatting with them about the weather and that nice jacket they wore to the last meeting, you have opened your company work tool and searched for "Customer can't do thing X when doing stuff Y". You find an answer that is two years old, but it's updated and discussed in the comments where two product owners and the CEO are participating.
After 2 minutes on the phone you know where the customer bought their jacket but more importantly you also managed to answer their initial question. They try the solution while you're on the phone and it works like a charm.You say "By the way, how about we setup that follow-up meeting that we mentioned at the last meeting so we can get the next project rolling?" They are happy to pencil in a meeting in the calendar right now and you have accomplished some things:
- You've solved their problem.
- You've been able to turn the customer happy.
- You've likely brought more business to your company.
That's how to do customer service in the (near) future of work.
Write a comment or contact me if you want to share your experiences.