At Port-to-Port Consulting, I always talk about the importance of customer service. I truly believe it is the single thing that distinguishes us from those with whom we compete in the marketplace. I’ve seen enough poorly done computer support in Indianapolis to know that expertise and knowledge are not distinguishing factors. Afterall, our customers wouldn’t need us if they had the level of expertise required to determine if we really know what we’re doing. The industry doesn’t help since the only certifications available are self-serving since they promote the vendor or association as much (or more than) the expertise they are supposed to represent.
The value of customer service comes when, as is inevitable, we do something wrong. If we’ve been doing our job well, we get chastised by our customer. If we’ve been doing it poorly, our customer just calls a competitor and we may never hear from him again. I tell my youngest son this all the time. That’s why I love it when I get calls telling me that we did something wrong. Love is probably extreme, but compared to the alternative of not getting called, love fits.
A customer telling me that he is disappointed, or bothered, is a customer telling me that he appreciates the relationship he has with Port-to-Port and he wants it to continue. He’s telling me that we dropped the ball but he will wait for us to pick it back up and then we’ll keep running down field together.
I leap on that ball! I know that I have before me a customer who desperately wants me to have the chance to make things right — to show him that I still care about the relationship too and that this misstep was unintentional. I received just such a call yesterday. It actually came via email last night. I will make it right today.