"What's that odd noise? That's not how my car/hard drive/dishwasher/printer usually sounds."
"Hey, what's going on. My screen's all blue!!"
"No, no, no. Wait, that's not populating the table right. Where's the data I entered?!?"
When something breaks (the air conditioning unit in my condo, the fuel pump on my much loved, but ancient car) or doesn't work (the new software app that I need to use for a deliverable) it can bring out some pretty strong emotions. Pressure isn't pretty especially when it brings out my much suppressed bratty inner two year old. Pressure begets pressure so what's the next step? It's to call for help and exert as much pressure as is humanly possible on the person who answers your call to get a quick resolution. What happens next depends on both the technical knowledge and customer service skills of the customer service, technical support, or field service rep.
Customers want a technical solution. Absolutely! I know I do. But that's not all I need. I need to have "non-technical" issues resolved as well. Call it a Customer's Bill of Rights:
- I want to feel that you've listened to me and tried to understand the problem.
- I want to feel you've taken my problem seriously (even if it's simple to you). I appreciate confidence, not arrogance.
- I want to be treated with respect, not condescension. Even if it turns out to be user error (which never seldom sometimes usually is the case with me) it makes me feel a part of the solution if the support rep has a conversation with me, not just asks a string of questions.
- And I want timely action. I don't expect miracles. Rumor has it that some customers may, but I'm really reasonable. I just want to know that there is some action being taken, that we're moving toward a resolution.
The perfect mashup? I want both technical support and customer service strengths. I'd like to be helped by someone with solid technical knowledge and experience, excellent communication and problem solving skills, empathy for my situation, a sincere desire to serve and an unflinching focus on my customer experience and satisfaction. Is that asking too much?