We’ve all been there: Lost in a maze of “press this” phone options searching for a live person to talk with and getting nowhere. Or the person we do reach is no help at all—perhaps even a bit put out by our questions.
Have some companies lost the human touch?
As a contractor looking to improve your customer service, this is a critical question to ask yourself. You may use technology that helps you handle phone calls and communicate with clients. That’s a good thing if it helps you be productive and it’s easy for your customers to use. But how quickly can your customers get to a live person if they have an issue or can’t find the information they are looking for? Does your website provide an easy-to-find option to talk with someone? And how knowledgeable and respectful is the person that picks up the phone, or talks to your clients in person?
The human touch is not just about dealing with someone person-to-person. It’s also about taking good care of your customers in a personable way that improves the customer experience. According to 2016 research conducted by Microsoft, “one of the top trends in customer service today is the hiring, development, and retention of service talent: employees with the ability to make service and the customer experience a differentiator for the company.”
Forbes also weighed in with their article “The future of Customer Service: Five Consumer Trends and Best Practices,” indicating that today’s customers want human service that is peer-to-peer, genuine, and useful.
For contractors the human touch can come in many forms:
- Sitting down with your customers to help them make the best decisions about their homes and facilities.
- Respecting their time by responding quickly to their requests, questions, and service calls.
- Genuinely caring about your customers’ concerns and letting them know what you are going to do to rectify any issues when they come up.
- Providing personal touches such as hand written thank-you notes.
- Giving your employees leeway to provide unexpected customer perks.
- Hiring people who understand and are good at providing customer service, no matter what their position is.
Think about your best and worst encounters with other companies. How did the human touch, or lack of it, come into play? Your own experiences are a good basis for understanding what you should and shouldn’t do when working with your customers.
This post is the fifth in a series of articles leading up to Customer Service Week, which starts October 2. If you missed any of my last posts, read them at:
About the Author
Deb Carpenter-Beck is a writer and marketer with more than 25 years of experience in the construction and real estate industries. She often writes about technology and best practices and is passionate about helping contractors and real estate professionals achieve their business goals. You can follow her on Twitter @DebCBConstruct.