What ISPs Know About Customer Service
Everyone's been frustrated with an Internet service provider when it comes to customer service. Automated phone menus don't help to lower the stress and frustration of the situation, and dropped calls I actually send you over the edge. From the look of most ISP websites FAQ and knowledgebase search functions have taken the place of customer care. In many ways this may actually help streamline helping clients as if you know anything about what you're doing it will be much faster for you to read the FAQ or search the knowledge base quickly and find the answer. This however still leaves those of us without technical skills on the phone with a robot on hold.
Many ISPs are now learning the value of good customer service and how to fix terrible phone support. While it seems like it might be easy to do right, if that were true everyone would do it right now. There is a cost analysis that must go into the mix when it comes to customer care however if you're the only ISP, I'm looking at you Comcast, there may be no other place for customer to go. If that's true you may want to go ahead and sit on hold and have some tea and try to calm down a little bit. Where the monopoly is in effect however bad customer service does cost company sales. Customers are happy with their service are likely to tell friends about, however users that are not happy have a tendency to post everywhere on the Internet, call everyone they know, and write a book about how they hate their Internet service provider. Clearly the downside is steeped in deep.
Amazon.com is more often than not ranked number one among all Internet retailers for customer satisfaction. Among other top performers are Southwest airlines, and Bose Corp. so what all these companies have in common? Let's take a look at a few important concepts consistent among the top rankers.
We Are What We Do
Southwest Airlines is quick to point out that they are what they do. They claim that customer service is a part of the core being, a integral part of the Southwest Airlines experience as opposed to an add-on to be used if necessary. During the interview process and Southwest Airlines first an applicant is interviewed with the recruiter, and then by several employees that are doing the job that is being applied for. This makes employees invested in who is going to share their job and gives them an amount of control over the company itself. This type of pride helps spill over into every other aspect of the company including customer care. Southwest Airlines is the top-ranked airline in terms of customer care in the world.
The Value of Loyalty
This is often referred to as the price of loyalty, or the "loyalty loop". The loop begins with a great product or service, ease of use, and a great and memorable experience. While business schools are teaching the four P’s of product, place, price, and promotion. The top-ranked in customer service add a fifth in the form of positive word-of-mouth. This is considered by this group the strongest marketing available anywhere.
Customer Care is Marketing
Customer care is a long-lasting impact on the buying behavior customers. Trust is key and is often gained from the customer care aspect of any given business. Customer service doesn't start by considering the cost. It's a philosophy that suggests that you cannot always get it right, but you can always make it right. This is the type of approach many ISPs are taking due to the competitive nature the service. Although the major cable companies don't have to be with each other because their basically monopolies but smaller companies and smaller ISPs do.