Recently, I was asked what I considered good customer service to be considering what type of industry I work in today.
I'm sure many of you will have similar stories to the one I will illustrate briefly. It's about how I learned what real customer service was and is today.
While my first "real" job was that of an apple picker where the only customer service I had to learn was not falling off of a ladder onto a bushel of apples! The jobs that I had following that position each in turn taught me more than my college education ever taught me. But college is really all about partying...right? Oh sorry!
I started my customer service education working for a gas station in my home town. While it's not the most glamorous types of jobs, it certainly opened my eyes to what kinds of horrible monsters people can turn into while shopping for gasoline. For those in the gas station business, and those who aren't or haven't been, most stations make around 10 - 15% of their profits from the actual gas purchases. (that percentage is generous) Most of their profits come from the items inside the store. So, knowing this information I wondered on a regular basis why I and my young crew would consistently be yelled at, harassed, and treated with disdain for the price of gasoline when in fact many of us were making just a buck or two over minimum wage and living on our own and did not receive gas discounts. While some of my crew were let go because of their treatment of customers who behaved this way, the rest of learned VERY fast how to be quick thinking and amiable to our customer-base.
My next position to hone my customer service skills was located, in all places, the career center for my college. I helped my fellow students learn what they needed to know for interviewing, work ethics, resume formatting, etc. From my fellow co-workers, I learned how to handle irrate people over the phone, how to speak pleasantly in the face of grumpy students, and of course, how to like the job I was in at the moment.
However, where I learned the most about business to business customer service, and that helps me most here at Website Forge, was when I worked for a large Chamber of Commerce in the Business and Education department. Not only was I expected to show the highest customer service skills, I also expected that from the businesses that I worked with day in and day out. What it instilled in me with that position is that business owners should consistently demonstrate excellent customer service to everyone they meet. After all, you never know who maybe a potential client or someone who could further your company. Also, I learned that customer service goes both ways. Just because someone is giving you service doesn't mean that you are allowed to treat them any less when the answer or answers they give were not what you were hoping for.
Now, with Website Forge customer service is a little bit different as all of you know. Very rarely, if ever, will you see someone face to face with our company. Most of the time you don't even hear our voices! Our front line customer service person is located in a chat room where on any given day he may be speaking to one or five different people at once. Our project team try very hard to take care of most of your needs through our project portal system and schedule calls when appropriate. We are working in a virtual reality where customer service sometimes has to be remade everyday.
However, the same rule applies...good customer service will beget good customer service.
I wish you a good day!
Olivia E Guerrero
Project Manager Assistant
Website Forge LLC