Is anyone listening?

As automation replaces people in customer service positions, the sense that no one is really listening grows. This makes providing personal service a genuine plus for your business.

The debacle of my recent passport application illustrates the frustrations we face while talking to machines. Having submitted the required passport paperwork, I received a text from the State Department with a FedEx shipping date. As I was scheduled to be out of town that day, I contacted FedEx. This involved cycling through the numerous automated attendant steps of FedEx’s answering system and waiting. When I was eventually contacted by someone at FedEx, I was asked the same questions that I had already entered in the automated system.

Back into the Void

My delivery was rescheduled but that date came and went with no passport arriving. I was forced back into the personal void of the automated attendant system. Again, I supplied it with my information and filed a lost shipment report. The requisite 30 day waiting period passed, with no package delivered. I had to use the automated attendant to notify FedEx and was informed that my lost package claim report was closed, with no resolution.

People Solve Problems

This led me to re-initiate my passport application with the State Department where I was faced with a similar automated process. Again, there was no one to talk to. I eventually turned to my US Senator’s office where actual people helped me resolve the problem.

Personal Service is Value-Added Service

This type of consumer frustration is all too common today. Businesses that can provide in-person service, however, can use this problem to their advantage. Someone answering the phone or behind the counter in your shop, who can address customer needs, provides real value-added to any transaction. 

How do you provide personal service that is neck above the rest? Are you an independent gas distributor (or other business) with a dedicated person or team to answer calls and provide face-to-face product or service advice? If so, you have a significant advantage. If not, consider how offering that personal service will benefit your customers and make them feel the most satisfied.

We can help! If you are looking for some ideas or even a pathway to get to significant growth, we offer executive coaching and team development training. Just contact us today to learn more.

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