Transforming Customer Service

Love it or hate it, there is something compelling about April Fools’ Day. Whilst some pranks are perhaps better not repeated and others are for more general consumption, some display a depth of care and attention which speaks volumes for the way in which the business approaches customer relationships. 

One of the themes which stood out for us this year was the way in which customer service allied to the provision of a solution have been leveraged to create some quite thought provoking ideas. We’re not talking here about the CERN scientists who claimed to have identified ‘The Force’ but about ideas which, if tweaked, could actually make a difference.

Sitting in this category are ideas such as a new range of wi-fi enabled swimwear which Virgin Media Business claims will enable people to keep in touch with their business from anywhere in the world. Or how about Google’s smart box which combines an ordinary physical post box with interactive devices, including a spam mail filter which won’t let your post-person put any advertising material in the box? Who knows, one day we may see similar devices in everyday use; but there are some simple ideas which are already here and making a difference for businesses which care about their customers. 

For example, when used appropriately SMS text messages can help to keep customers updated and informed.  There’s nothing worse than taking time off work or giving up some precious free time to call on a business only to find that it has given its own staff some time to themselves. So with Easter upon us, how about texting your regular clients with details of bank holiday opening times or of special bank holiday offers?  And just to ensure that you obtain maximum coverage for your altered opening hours, why not leave a message on your phone system as well.  That way phone callers won’t hang around waiting in vain for an answer and you stand a better chance of reaching potential new customers without their having to make a wasted journey.

Alternatively, if you work via an appointments system then an SMS text reminder can help to cut down on no-shows whilst at the same time acting to boost the link between client and business. And then there is the way in which SMS texts can help to boost staff communications. Bulk SMS texts are a fairly key element of crisis management planning but what about using texts to pass on good news about a new contract, to praise a good piece of work or simply to wish far-flung employees a happy holiday.

When we turn our thoughts around from providing pure customer service to providing a solution to existing problems it is surprising how inventive we can sometimes be. Apart from taking a fresh look at SMS texting, how about a reprogramming tweak for the company switchboard to improve phone answering or providing additional local or national phone numbers which better suit customer dialling habits? April 1st is only one day a year but it shows how inventive we can be when we put our minds to it. Before the next one rolls around, what could your employees come up with to make a difference for customers and for the business as a whole?

Written by Alison