Making customer service human

Customer Service

As I was recently going over my site, The WP Butler, I was making a concerted effort to improve my customer service. I realised that people weren’t so much interested in the services of having backups and updates done on a regular basis (though I will still continue to do that), but rather they wanted the comfort of knowing that they had someone proficient in WordPress readily available to them for whatever issue may arise. As such, my customer service needed to be tweaked to emphasize how approachable I was at any time.

It helped me to rethink a lot of the elements on my site. For instance, my old ‘New Member Information Form’ was 4 pages long and consisted of about 50 questions. After giving it some thought, I realised that I was asking for too much information up front, much of which was “just in case” I needed it. It became apparent that this could be overwhelming, so I pared it down to only the information that I had to have, which then involved about 6 simple questions. Much more manageable.

It’s part of a more general strategy to be more “human” and not be afraid to pick up the phone and talk to someone like a human instead of insisting that all communication be by email and forms on my terms. It makes me think of the awful automatic phone systems that greet you when you call your insurance company, cable company or bank. Instead of spending 10 seconds talking to a human and explaining what I need, I’m forced to spend 3 minutes going through automated systems, which usually don’t even get me to where I need to be anyway. The emphasis that Discover Card is putting on speaking to actual people when you call them up in their latest ad campaign should go to show how much demand there is for such a service in the marketplace:

People are fed up of listening to recordings and trying to speak to machines, usually unsuccessfully. By that point, even if you give stellar customer service, the customer already despises you for the ordeal you’ve put them through.

I think it’s time to stop treating customer service like “one size fits all” and realise that sometimes, we just need to talk to one another to figure out how best to help someone. You have my guarantee that moving forward, that’s the way we’ll be doing things at The WP Butler and The UK Edge.

3 thoughts on “Making customer service human”

  1. The idea should work for all businesses, whether online or on the High Street. If a business isn’t going to invest in good and real responses to customer queries then they are in the wrong business, and building block answers taken from an FAQ the customer has probably already gone through, simply do not fit the bill.

    But customer service is also about being available as a site, and a site which demands membership to comment, or logging in through another social media site is also on the way out, I hope! Accessibility means ease of use, and remembering that there are millions of other sites out there as competition who do not need a log in, who have the same information, and who are far more user friendly.

    1. Agreed in every respect. Customer service needs an overhaul and everyone should be looking at their processes and questioning whether they do things because it’s best for the customer, or because it’s best for the company, or just because “that’s how everyone else does it”. There’s a better way

  2. David says:

    Recently I discover google hangouts to talk with my customers. It’s another way to be more human. But you must be careful, because time is money, and you can waste a lot of time doing hangouts :)

Leave a Reply