Nerys and I went to our local library on our way home from school yesterday. When we went to check out our books the lady behind the counter recognised us. She acknowledged that we had been turned away from their recent halloween event as it was fully booked, and said how sorry she was that she had had to turn us away.
She then went on to tell me that they were planning a Christmas event at the start of December, and for me to keep an eye out for it so that I could book and come along.
It was a really little thing but I walked away feeling really good about our experience. It sounds a bit silly maybe, but I felt valued as a customer and as a visitor to the library.
So often when we think of customer service we think of the big corporations and call centres full of people working to keep customers happy. It was nice to experience it on a more personal level, to feel like my day had been made a bit brighter by someone taking a bit of time to provide great customer service.
I personally really value good customer service, and I will often stay loyal to companies who go that little bit further to make me feel valued as a customer. CCSN recently carried out a survey to find out what people think about customer service, and this fab infographic shows what they found.
So, is customer service better or worse now, in the digital age?
I’m a bit torn on this to be honest. I think that we’ve lost a little bit of the personal touch with the big corporations, which is one of the reasons I love shopping with small businesses as you tend to still get that personal touch from them.
I also find it hard with the big companies to know the best way to contact them, as sometimes their contact details are buried on their websites. CCSN is really handy to know about if you ever find the same problem when you want to get in touch with someone’s customer service department. It’s basically a directory of all the numbers you could need for dozens of different companies, and is really easy to use.
What I’ve found recently with the big companies is that I have just embraced the way things are now, and often tweet them if I have a query or an issue. It seems to get a quicker response that emailing, and is much better than sitting on hold or pressing my way through multiple menus on the phone to get through to the right person.
The thing is, problems do occur. No one and no business is perfect. I’ve had a few issues with a couple of the big supermarkets recently when I’ve done online orders for my weekly food shop. What is important to me is how quickly and easily the company then handles the issue. If they can make it right one way or another, and be polite and pleasant to me in the process, then that to me is good customer service and I will use them again.
What does good customer service mean to you?
Disclaimer – this is a collaborative post.