I thought I was due a blog post, and since I haven’t been involved in much beyond project-induced incident management in the past couple of months, I thought I would talk about something else I love very much: customer service. I hope I’m not blowing my own trumpet too much in this blog, but customer service is probably the thing I work hardest at.
I’m not formally trained in customer service. My customer service “training” began when I got thrown in at the deep end on the Service Desk as an introduction to the organisation I have worked for since 2008.
I was young and inexperienced*, I was cripplingly nervous and shy on the phone, and I didn’t know the ins and outs of the organisation’s IT. However, I did know how to be friendly, empathetic and polite. And really, those skills are the basis of providing good customer service, in my opinion.
100% of my day today was spent dealing with mobile device incidents and taking calls from customers who had received my direct number from colleagues. Dammit. But I’m not going to send those customers to the Service Desk or the customer portal, because to them, I am their first point of contact, and they are people who have their own customers to deal with. I make a habit of accepting the call, logging the incident myself, and tactfully advising them to call the Service Desk or use the customer portal next time.
I take a call and I phone the customer. If I can’t reach the customer, I email them or otherwise make sure they have my details so that we can get the incident resolved as soon as possible. I stay with them until they’re happy for me to close the incident; I have never closed an incident without the customer’s consent.
I offer to stay on the phone with customers that are nervous about using self-service instructions. I try to phone people back as soon as I pick up their voicemails or emails. I am terrible with being distracted by new phone calls and emails coming in, so I have to keep a to-do list written down in a big spiral-bound notebook on my desk. Customers that visit me think I’m organised; it’s more of a crutch!
All in all, my goal is to make sure the customer is happy at the end of the call, or at least happy when we close the incident. As they’re passing my number around in offices now, I guess I’m doing a good job!
*I’m still young, but hopefully considered a bit more experienced!