I know that when I have a client who emails me, I respond. Quickly.
If I have a school board constituent who calls me, I try to get back to them. Promptly.
I don’t always have the answer. In fact, I rarely have the answer right then and there. But I pick up the phone, or I respond to the email, or IM, or text or whatever their communication method of choice is so I can get them what they need. It may not be then, but I will let them know when and on what date I can have the answer for them.
I don’t have to go to every meeting. I don’t have to have everything one hundred percent perfect. But I have to work hard, I have to try to get the correct information clients need quickly and I have to be NICE to people who want to pay me. It’s pretty basic.
But other vendors whom I have encountered don’t always feel that way.
Whether it’ s the staff at Staples who are always MIA, or the manager at the Home Depot who will not call me back when they install the carpet wrong. I want to yell at them: I HAVE MONEY TO SPEND IN YOUR STORE BECAUSE I NEED SOMETHING. Be nice to me.
AT&T gets it. Apple certainly gets it. JCrew definitely gets it as do a lot of online stores. What is so hard? This is just good PR, good communications strategy, and a guaranteed way to get people to like you.
Is “in person”customer service just going away, like print magazines, or will it simply differentiate the winners from the losers?