I was reminded this morning that it doesn’t take much for a service provider to stand out from the crowd. There is a lot of focus on enhancing the customer experience and creating strong relationships that clearly differentiate you from your competition. My experience with my mobile service provider was a perfect case in point.
I woke up this morning to a problem. I could not send or receive emails from my smart phone. It seems that they were wiped out over the weekend when I was dealing with a completely unrelated problem. To set them up, I needed to know my user name and password. The ones I thought were correct turned out to be incorrect. Each time I tried it, the counter on my smartphone told me that I had only 6 tries left, then 5 tries, then 4.
On a normal day, this would be an inconvenience but this morning it was catastrophic (at least for me). It was 4:45 am and I was rushing to get to the airport for an early morning flight. We had a snowstorm overnight leaving the roads a mess and easily doubling the travel time. I would be away for a few days and my cell phone was my only link to my business during the day. I had to get this problem fixed quickly. I could feel the stress.
I called the carrier without much hope of getting anyone live at that time in the morning and, to my relief, I got through to a customer service representative. I explained the problem I was experiencing and he pointed out that I did not have an account and I would need to set one up. He explained how to go about it, gave me some helpful advice on selecting a User I.D., and waited on the phone while I completed the instructions. He then happily continued to stay on the line while I set up my emails, although he certainly did not have to. When I told him I appreciated his support he replied that he knew I was anxious about the situation and he wanted to ensure that everything went smoothly and should there be a glitch, he would be there to help me out.
Now, in the scheme of things, I guess you could say that the customer service representative was just doing his job. And maybe, he had nothing better to do at that time in the morning – I don’t suppose he would have been run off his feet. However, the willingness to stay on the line and guide me through the steps until everything was working the way I needed it was the best thing he could have done for me this morning. It showed that he was sensitive to my situation (please read this prior blog post on empathy) and he provided the level of support he felt would suit my needs in the circumstances.
It seems to me that this is something exceptional field service technicians do as a matter of course. They stay around a few extra minutes to ensure that the problem that was repaired was done so correctly. They follow-up on recent work to make certain the customer is happy. They understand and show empathy for the customer’s situation by acting in a way that best suits the customer’s needs given the circumstances. This isn’t much, but technicians who practice these small extra steps, certainly stand out from their peers. And, so do the companies they represent.
I’d love your feedback. And as always, please feel free to leave a link back to your own blog if you have one via the commentluv feature here on the site. If you are reading this blog post via email, you will need to locate this post on my website by clicking here. Scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will find the comment section.
“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”
– Muhammad Ali