Why do the most successful and massively used brands (Google, WhatsApp,...) have no customer service (or at least we have never needed it). It is not good to solve problems to the Customer, the good thing is that the Customer does not have problems. It is a question of attitude that is applied at the very moment of the design of the product / service.
Those who know me know my passion for Apple products. Their laptops and tablets not only have an attractive design, they are above all easy to use and become, in my case, inseparable companions for work and leisure. I use these devices a lot. I have occasionally had some difficulty in using some functionality, mostly because of my haste to rush the installation and start using what I need. However, so far I have never contacted anyone from Apple's after-sales service. Every time I've had a difficulty I've found a way to solve it by consulting their website, or with the help of internet forums about the brand, where expert users themselves help the less advanced ones in an enthusiastic and disinterested way.
The above applies to other services that we all use intensively today and are already part of our lives: Google, Facebook or WhatsApp, to name a few. In these few examples we find some of the characteristics that I most admire as a customer: simplicity in use from the first moment, satisfaction of needs, constant evolution in functionality that is shared with the user, absence of failures and finally satisfaction, that magical goal so difficult to achieve and that, in my case, leads me to use these services again and again, to be a loyal customer, another magic word, also elusive and complicated, but that Apple, Google and others seem to dominate, to the admiration of the rest of the market.
How do they do it, is it possible to reach that level of excellence, what is their secret formula for success? In my opinion, the key is that they are very clear about what they want to do and they are totally oriented towards it. They don't get lost along the way and even though things may not have been easy for them at first, they have always had that mentality of focusing 100% on their business with all their available energy. I think it's the same formula we see in people and businesses in our immediate environment: having a clear mission and putting all our focus on it, is key to engage and enchant others, in any project we tackle, personal or professional.
I wanted to introduce today's reflection on customer service (the response to customer complaints and doubts), precisely because I believe that we should all start from the concept of
excellence when designing our products and services: to make things so good and so easy to use that the Customer, once he has bought, does not need us anymore (if not to buy more things...).
Sabemos que los problemas necesariamente han de presentarse y hasta el mejor puede cometer errores (recordemos el fiasco del servicio de mapas de Apple con el lanzamiento de su último
sistema operativo), pero una cosa es acostumbrarse a convivir con los problemas y otra la actitud firme de eliminarlos atacando sus causas raíz, hasta estar seguros de que no vuelven a presentarse.
En mi experiencia, muchos de los problemas que le trasladamos al Cliente, tienen su origen en que nos preocupamos más de nosotros mismos que de nuestros Clientes. Organizaciones y procesos «estancos», en los que cada cual mira por su propia parcela sin preocuparse de resultado final, de la calidad de lo que el usuario final recibe. Esto tiene también su reflejo en el en ocasiones poco soporte y capacidad que se les otorga a las personas que están frente al Cliente, cara a cara, resolviendo sus problemas : muchas veces son los empleados menos valorados y capacitados de la organización, lo que demuestra el escaso grado en que estamos orientados a nuestros Clientes.
Let me share with you some ideas that I have found throughout my career to work when it comes to providing good customer service:
- Let's know why customers call us and what they complain about and beyond this, which seems obvious, let's use this information to solve the root of the problems that have generated that call, making sure that we solve them and therefore there are no new claims for that reason.
- Let's give the Client the possibility to solve things by himself, to serve himself in an efficient way. This option, far from being negative or inconsiderate,
is increasingly demanded by more and more accustomed and expert users. However, let's design the self-service experience to be very satisfactory or it will be counterproductive.
- Let's make it easy for the customer to talk to our company: whether through the call center, the website or in the store, let's make the customer feel that we care about what they are telling us.
- Throughout the organization, everyone should be very clear about how their work affects the customer experience. There should be no areas that live outside the Customer. This is not good.
These four points are not easy to carry out, it is necessary in some cases important investments to do it well (self-service) and more complicated than that, a change of culture in the organization that takes time and as we said before, requires from us a lot of clarity in the mission and a lot of focus.
On this path, an important help for me has been the people in the organization who are most in contact with the Customer (salespeople and staff in the service centers): I have always found that their knowledge of the needs and expectations of our Customers is perfect and they have provided me with relevant information for improvement. I also love the attitude of constant improvement that I usually find in them, carrying out a task that can often be frustrating.
There is no doubt that the benefits of all this effort pay off: not only we can save money, the quality of service understood in this way drastically reduces the demand for service, but more importantly for our business: we will have delighted customers who speak well of our brand and do not imagine the possibility of abandoning us for a competitor.