Customer care – do it right

Yesterday I received a call from my telco about my mobile phone service. He didn’t try to sell me something – it seems they are just trying to be proactive in keeping their customers happy. Now, we all know about the service standards of telcos (no need for names, they are all the same), so I was quite surprised when I received this call. I took my time and answered his questions and thanked him for the call.

I have 19 months left on my contract and my usage patterns have not changed significantly. So why suddenly call out of the blue to check my pulse? I started thinking after the call… it seems that they have forgotten all the times when I’ve been placed on hold for 45 minutes, after 20 minutes of navigating through voice prompts and cheesy hold music and then transferred through 4 call centre operators to reach someone who could answer my query.

Just as I was getting back into work mode, I got another call – again from the same telco, greeting me with the exact same line as the previous, with the same intent to see how I was enjoying my services. This time I was not as pleasant; I told her that I took the same call 20 minutes earlier from one of her coworkers. She told me that she would take me out of her database.

So what possible good is “I just called to say I love you”, if all I am is a name in a database? You want to show me you care? At least be there for me when I need you.

In contrast, our family mechanic doesn’t smile much or bother with small talk. However he is happy to take a test drive even when I drop by unannounced to check where that annoying sound is coming from. During regular servicing, he will be the first to tell me that my brakes have another 5000 km in them yet and don’t need replacing. He will then remember to call me 3 months later so he can inspect again (free of charge), to ensure that they are still safe. I know he genuinely cares and we wouldn’t take our cars anywhere else.

Customer (patient) care is not just delivery of your professional services. Care is something you can’t fake. They know when they are just a number to you. It shows through in how quickly you answer the phone or respond to an email or accommodate special needs. Care for your customers – and let this drive everything else you do.

Comments

By Graham
13 December 2010

I would have thought that customer care and customer service were the same thing, but it seems that there are subtle yet important difference between the two. Customer care is pretty much "expected" from a business (except in case of telcos and banks :-) however doing customer care correctly is that extra mile that customers will remember.

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