I’d like to tell you about remarkable customer service I received from my webhosting service LunarPages. I purchased a new laptop and for days was struggling with my Outlook addresses and settings. I called my service provider, Rogers, who delivered what I would say was below average customer service. They did the basics and depending on the agent, were either somewhat helpful or apathetic. And of course, would not discuss my hosting account since they are not authorized to provide help on that, even if they know the answer. Kind of like the “not my department” or “not my job” position.
Contrast that with Lunar Pages. First of all, I was on hold for awhile and had to speak with somebody who entered my office. My turn in the queue apparently arrived but the agent could hear that I was talking in the background. Now here is the amazing part. He called me back and left me a message saying he wanted to help but couldn’t understand what I was saying! And would I please call him back at my convenience so that he could help me. Incredible!! When I called back, the agent was polite, calm and stayed on the phone for awhile. I hung up and tried some things- still not resolved. I called three more times and each time a very patient representative tried to help me. In the end, the issue was resolved. In fact, they resolved the Rogers connection issue as well. And never said to me it wasn’t their problem. They said they want to see me happy, my problem solved and invited me to call again without hesitation. “We’re here to serve you”. When was the last time you have heard that.
I encountered the same service level from my external back-up service. I emailed a question but never followed up. An agent called me and has called me three times this week to walk me through re-installing the service on my new laptop. He is on top of things, has checked my account and wants to be sure I don’t need further help. When was the last time you received that type of service. I did- twice in one week.
At Rogers, I encountered a second challenge. I inadvertently made a payment to my cable account instead of wireless. It took me awhile to figure out why I had a positive balance in one and was being sent threatening letters regarding the other. I called customer support not realizing that the cable and wireless accounts had different account numbers. I just assumed it was added and thus a combo account. The agent was rude, unhelpful and finally she concluded I had paid the wrong account. And her comment “And whose fault was that, maam? YOU paid the wrong account.” Wow!! Not only did she not help, she took it upon herself to blame me for the issue. If I weren’t tied to my email address at the time, I would have cancelled my account there and then. Now that I’m served by a webhosting company, I may just do that. Not the first time I’ve experienced horrible customer service from Rogers.
What does this have to do with Trust? Everything. I trusted the Lunar Pages and Iron Mountain reps to look after me, to stick with me until the problem was solved, and to be there for me if I called back. I trusted the agent’s knowledge and had confidence in his abilities. I also knew they would follow up until they were certain the issue was resolved. Why? Because they both went the extra mile, took ownership of my issue and wanted to help me. I felt valued and knew that I could count on them. The Rogers people, in contrast, sound bored, annoyed and hostile to their customers. I dread calling them for anything. Do I trust them. Absolutely not. I don’t trust that they will look after me nor do I trust that they care about me and value my business.
What are you doing to build trust in your organization? There is a clear link between employee trust and customer trust. And if you don’t ensure that link is solid, you will be very vulnerable to competitors and to consumer options. Because consumers have choices and power. Remember that.