You Want to Talk to a Person

You want to talk to a person. Not get a text; not receive an e-mail; you want to talk to a person – live.

That’s the summary of a recent American Express survey released. In a recent Wall Street Journal article about the survey results, approximately 90% of those who responded wanted to have their inquiries addressed by people on the phone. About 75% would like a face-to-face encounter, and 67% would utilize a website to get their question answered. Approximately 70% of customers are willing to spend more with a business providing good customer service.

So people still want to talk to…well, people. And if that employee is providing good customer service, the majority would be willing to pay more for that higher level of customer service.

What this means strategically for your business is that your decisions about what method of service delivery to use, what method of responding to inquiries to select – those decisions should not be made based on the pure “cost per transaction” question. They should be based on who are your customers, what do they prefer, how much are they willing to spend to have personalized interactions and higher levels of customer service.

Income Statements have a Revenue section along with the Expense section, so when companies make decisions that impact how they interact with customers, they need to think of the revenue impact – not just the cost per unit.

An Education industry client said that university students prefer to receive updates of upcoming events via text, not e-mail. So I’m not suggesting you always go the telephone or face-to-face route. But what I am suggesting is to first do the research to understand what your customers want and for what they’re willing to pay a little extra.

Don’t make assumptions. Ask the customer what they want, determine the FULL impact on your organization of delivering that, and then make the right decision.

Read our New Book – “Ask Yourself…Am I GREAT at Customer Service?” http://www.amigreatat.com/

Interested in improving your company’s customer service? See more at our new website! http://www.cssamerica.com/

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One comment

  1. Thank you for the post.
    We are a point of transition between demographics and how they prefer to communicate. We need to communicate with our customers in the medium through which they reached out to us.
    Industries and demographics differ, as you mention. But the key mediums of communication with customers are irrefutable. If you don’t have all of them active, figure out which customers are not reaching out, and see if they matter. Bottom line . . .its not up to us. The business runs for the sake of the customer, if they want to talk to us through wigi-boards, then lets figure out how to do it.

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