Customer service is a tricky thing. Last week I was on the phone when I heard a horrible noise that was very metallic. As soon as I hung up I ran upstairs, looked around, saw movers at the house across the street and assumed that was it. It was quite a shock when I tried to put the garage door up and it wouldn’t move. I pulled the red handle that hangs down and nothing happened. I couldn’t move the door. That’s when I called a large service company.
I was unable to determine in the person was male or female when they answered and, no kidding, their name was Pat. So Pat took my phone number and asked what name was on file. How would I know? We bought the garage door opener 11 years ago! It could be me, it could be my nickname, and it could be my husband’s name. So I said I didn’t know but here’s my name. Pat entered that. Pat identified the product purchased. Yay. Pat then asked if it is under warranty. Wouldn’t Pat have that information more at hand than I would? This is where it got frustrating.
Pat asked what the problem was. I explained. Pat apologized. Really? Was Pat in some way responsible for the problem? The device, and for that matter the door, is 11 years old. But we moved on. Pat asked if the problem was the door or the garage door opener. As a technician on computers, I certainly understand the need to identify where the problem is. But I would never ask a customer, “is it the monitor or the video card?” because they wouldn’t know how to tell. So I told Pat I know nothing about garage door openers – how would I know? The answer was I just had to know. Seriously? So I hung up and called a friend of mine who told me what I needed to determine what the problem was. I then called someone else to fix it.
So at the end of this interaction, Pat needed ME to know if the problem was the door or the opener. Pat was unable to give me information on what to look at to make that determination and in all reality, it was easy once my friend asked me questions. Pat did save me a service visit fee for someone to come out and tell me it wasn’t the opener, but lost the deal for the company. Not cool.
So, what do you require your customers to know? If they call, do you expect them to have information already or can you answer their questions? I would strongly encourage you to have those questions at the ready so you don’t lose the next sale. Customers shouldn’t need to know what you do – that’s your job!