How often have we seen offers on posters on the street, in TV ads and newspaper ads telling how gladly the advertiser’s friendly staff will take our call “now”? How often did we experience frustration then, having to dial our way through an endless menu such as “dial one if you are a new customer”? And then, when we were greeted with a tired mumble of a name, with huge noise in the background?

Customer communication always contains promises: new proposals, new offers, doing something different than the competition. But when the moment of truth comes along, and the people we wish to be our customers really contact us, their first enthusiasm will often come down to earth within seconds

This does not apply to the phone only. How often did you think twice to send an email to a company just because you thought, if anything, they would probably reply ages after you have resolved your issue or got an answer to your question via another route? How often did you give up contacting companies because every single one wants you to enter your whole life history into a huge form sheet before you can actually send your enquiry? How often did you get lost on their menus because you are not an Internet Expert

These days, we need to think more than ever before of the routes that a customer or a prospect needs to take to find us. And once she found us, we need to make sure she is not fobbed off but rather encouraged to buy our products or services. It is not sufficient to be friendly and say that we “thank you for your call and you will be notified when the service is live” (think of the last time you ordered a phone line).

So when will it BE live? For which day will I need to take a valuable day off? Will it be just half a day or a full day? In this case internal processes need to make sure that the promises made will be kept. And it is certainly not comforting to hear that “all phone providers rely on the same installation service company”.

When you walk through the rows and ask your staff what customers are saying, it may give you the first clues about what to do. This is not about perfection, but about progress. Don’t try to work out the perfect plan of how to organize this. Rather focus on the vital hints that you get quickly and frequently and act swiftly. It is much better to make fast improvements in little steps than trying to make the giant leap. Little steps enable you to show quick results, buy in more internal attention, support and often budget – and reach your goal faster than you thought.

A workshop gathering most frequent customer issues, and then create a list of some practicable and promising actions to take, things to communicate. An internal focus group to match the promises we make with the performance we actually deliver. The confidence to ignore the routinely excellent customer feedbacks because most of the customers cannot even remember when they last contacted us when asked about how the service was then. It does not take much to act. It rather takes some change of mind.

Are you ready?



Jens Moeller Consulting Ltd.

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