Your organization might be well-meaning but still ruining your customer’s day.
The mission at 360Connext is simple, but we believe it’s important:
We’re on a mission to create fewer ruined days for customers.
I started using this as our mission when I created the company in 2009. And I believe it’s still an important goal for anyone. As I close a keynote or workshop, I often ask the attendees if they will join me on this mission. It’s a sincere hope we can all help each other stop ruining days!
Here are a few of the top ways we do this to the very people who sign our paychecks.
1. We acknowledge them, but in the most dismissive way possible.
When we turn to a customer and say “who’s next?” or answer the call of a client with a sigh, we are letting that person know just where they stand in our priorities. It’s easy to let customers know you aren’t having the greatest day. It’s easy to let them know you are tired and overworked. It’s easy to let them know the interaction or entire relationship is all about you, and not them. That can ruin someone’s day.
2. We are consistent about communicating through invoices, but little else.
Invoices are opportunities to say thank you. Invoices are opportunities to share something meaningful. Invoices are not just opportunities to say “give us that money, or else!” Sometimes this is the only communication a customer has with your customer on a consistent basis. Why do we treat it like a punishment?
Many invoices have language about what will happen if the bill is not paid on time and the horrible consequences awaiting that delinquent customer. This language is included, month after month, even when the customer has consistently paid or has even already paid the bill in full! Why ruin someone’s day with this type of negativity?
Look for ways to say “thanks for paying on time!” or “your loyalty is appreciated.
3. We make it so darn difficult for a customer to get a simple answer.
This probably tops the list. Have a question, Ms. Customer? No problem, just try to find a way to contact a human being via the web site! Oops, those telephone numbers are only about sales.
Customer service is in a far away land you need to discover through uphill battles and tests of fortitude! Once you reach someone, the polite-yet-not-empathetic employee informs you that you are simply wrong. Wrong to call service. Wrong about your question. WRONG!
Then the hurried-and-yet-disinterested employees transfers you in the middle of explaining your wrongness. By the time you are connected with someone who sounds a tad more human, the line is inexplicably disconnected and you are left with a beeping tone in your ear and hopelessness in your heart.
Ruining someone’s day isn’t something to take lightly.
It means that we chip away at someone’s positive emotions. We increase their blood pressure. We force them to prioritize working through our channels over more important ways to spend their time.
My mission is simple but complex. Let’s stop ruining someone’s day.